Hurricane Michael has passed, but many of our clients will be dealing with its effects for a long time to come. We are happy to say that, once again, insurance jumped into difficult situations and is helping our clients rebuild and recover. Insurance pays.
In the time leading up to Hurricane Michael and afterward, we answered many questions, but two topics in particular stood out.
Flood Insurance Waiting Period
Floods are a) the most common and b) the most costly natural disaster in the U.S. each year, even greater than wildfires. Flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program has a 30-day waiting period for coverage to go into effect. Thus, flood insurance must be in place well before the threat of an approaching storm. Increasing coverage or decreasing deductibles are also subject to the waiting period. There are few exceptions, but the most notable being when making, increasing, extending, or renewing your mortgage loan. Lesson: put flood insurance coverage in place before a storm threatens and the need becomes apparent.
Flood Insurance Alternative
Private market flood insurance is now widely available and competitively priced. Each carrier has different waiting periods, some as low as 14 days.
Insurance Carrier Moratoriums
When a storm is threatening an area, insurance carriers stop allowing changes to affected insurance policies. These moratoriums restrict increasing coverage on buildings, contents, and equipment, as well as not allowing coverage to be expanded to other buildings.
Auto insurance is also affected by moratoriums. It is not uncommon for auto insurance carriers to restrict increasing coverage levels or adding new vehicles before a storm hits. During hurricane Michael, this meant several of our clients that were in the process of purchasing new vehicles could not add them to their policies until the storm had passed.