Protecting Your Home This Hurricane Season
The past few years have seen a few devastating hurricanes cause massive amounts of damage to Texas’ coastal region. While we here in the Rio Grande Valley have been fortunate to avoid any catastrophes, the reality is that a major storm can eventually hit our region.
That’s why being prepared this hurricane season is so important.
You not only want to have a plan in order to protect yourself and your loved ones, but you also want to make sure that you have the right insurance coverages in place so that you don’t have to handle the costs of hurricane damages all on your own.
Let the dedicated bad faith insurance claim attorneys of Millin & Millin provide you some tips that can help to minimize any storm damages while also giving you insight into additional insurance policies you may need to purchase.
Protecting Your Property
Before a hurricane or tropical storm hit, you’ll want to take the proper steps to protect your home and property.
- Review your homeowners insurance policy. The first step you should take is to review your homeowners insurance policy to ensure you have the right coverage in place. For instance, most policies do not cover flooding, so you will likely need to purchase an additional rider. Understanding what is and what isn’t covered can save you on costly repairs.
- A house inspection is in order. It is in your best interest to inspect your home before any major storms strike. This can help you identify any issues that need to be dealt with and will also help if you need to file a property damage claim with your home/flood insurance company. A common tactic insurance companies use to deny claims is to insist that the damage already existed prior to the storm. Having a recent inspection report from a licensed inspector will help to prevent this type of bad faith behavior from ruining your claim.
- Take pictures of your home before a hurricane hits. Pictures can prove to be valuable pieces of evidence that show the damage done by a storm. Along with an inspection report, photos can help prove that your property was in good condition before the storm. Take photos of everything with as much as detail as possible.
- Take action to prevent major damage from taking place. Consider taking the following actions to protect your home:
a. Inspect your roof for any damages such as leaks, loose or missing shingles, cracks, or other signs of roof damage that could become a major issue should a hurricane strike. Get it fixed as soon as possible.
b. Double check that your windows and doors are properly sealed with caulking.
c. Check your home’s gutters and drains for any damages that can lead to water leaking into your home.
d. Clean up your yard including trimming loose branches and placing loose objects into a storage room or home.
If a storm is definitely going to hit the region, you’ll want to protect your windows by using plywood or having storm shutters installed if possible.
Alongside physically preparing your home for a storm, you’ll want to make sure you have the right insurance coverage.
Additional Insurance Protection from Hurricane Damage
Many homeowners do not know exactly what their insurance covers and this can lead to a world of financial trouble if they aren’t careful.
Generally speaking, home insurance policies typically do not cover flooding and certain other damages that can occur if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tropical depressions, or floodings. To ensure you are fully protected, start investigating as to whether or not you will need:
- Flood insurance. Damage caused by flooding is typically not covered by homeowners insurance. Being that flooding is one of the most common types of damages caused by a hurricane, you’ll want to make sure you are adequately covered. Just 1 inch of water can cause $25,000 in damages to your home.
- Additional wind damage riders. While your insurance may already cover wind damage, you may want to look into purchasing additional coverage in case hurricane winds cause substantial damage to your home’s siding, shingles, or the entire roof. It’s also worth noting that wind damage insurance also covers any damages caused by tornadoes or other storms with high-speed winds.
While we hope that our region will be able to avoid any major storms this hurricane season, we also want to ensure that the people of the Rio Grande Valley are fully prepared. Should your home suffer severe damage caused by a storm and you cannot secure the coverage to you, do NOT hesitate to contact the experienced insurance claim attorneys of Millin & Millin.