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CFO Jimmy Patronis: Hurricane Season is Here, Insurance Coverages You Didn’t Know You May Need for the 2018 Hurricane Season

6/1/2018

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 1, 2018
Contact: Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842 
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Hurricane Season is Here, Insurance Coverages You Didn’t Know You May Need for the 2018 Hurricane Season
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On the official start of the 2018 Hurricane Season, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis reminds Floridians of the importance of financial preparedness before the next storm. CFO Patronis warns that homeowners insurance policies contain limitations and exclusions and it is important to review your policy to understand your coverages.
 
“Last year, Hurricane Irma alone resulted in more than $8 billion in insured losses. If you haven't already, now is the time to financially prepare for the 2018 Hurricane Season,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “Understanding your insurance coverage is a vital part of the hurricane preparedness process. Check your homeowners insurance policy and understand what is covered and what is excluded so that you have adequate coverage.”
 
Homeowner’s insurance policies vary from company to company. Here are eight insurance coverages you may consider for hurricane season:

• Windstorm Coverage (if not included in your current homeowners policy). 
Windstorm coverage may be excluded if you live in a wind pool area (generally within 1,000 – 1,500 feet of a body of water, such as the gulf or the ocean).

• Flood Insurance (if not included in your current homeowners policy).
Flood coverage may be included in your current homeowners policy by endorsement, or a separate policy may be issued. This coverage is important to have even if you are not in a designated flood zone.

• Food Spoilage.
Food spoilage is not always covered by most policies; however, if the coverage is included, most companies cover food spoilage due to a power outage caused by direct physical damage on the insured premises.

• Sinkhole Coverage. 
This covers sinkhole losses on any structure, including personal property. Coverage may be restricted to the principal building, as defined in the policy.

• Additional Living Expenses/Loss of Use.
This provides for the “additional” expenses of living elsewhere due to a loss to the insured residence by covered damage.

• Inflation Guard Endorsement.
This endorsement may be added to most policies and provides for an automatic percentage increase in coverage amounts to help keep your coverage aligned with current construction costs.

• Replacement Cost Endorsement.
This pays up to the limits for the replacement of a damaged or destroyed home or property, without deducting depreciation. This is different from Actual Cash Value, which pays for the actual value of damaged items and does not consider depreciation.

• Law and Ordinance.
This pays an additional amount to apply towards the cost to rebuild or repair damages due to the enforcement of any ordinance or law regarding construction, repair, or demolition.

Consumers should speak with their insurance agent or company to confirm the coverages on their policy as soon as possible. Once a storm develops, their insurance company may be under binding restrictions, and they may be unable to obtain a separate policy or add these important coverages to their current policy. Consumers should keep in mind that some property insurance companies offer flood coverage as an endorsement to the homeowners’ policy, and typically there is a 30-day waiting period to obtain coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
 
Those who have questions about their insurance coverage and how to financially prepare for the upcoming hurricane season are encouraged to contact CFO Patronis’ Insurance Consumer Helpline by calling 1-877-693-5236 or visiting www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Consumers/. The Helpline also provides consumers with a place to obtain contact information for their insurance company, verify the license of an insurance agent or adjuster and much more.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a native Floridian and a member of Florida’s Cabinet, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).