Most Sanibel and Captiva homeowners have three policies covering their home…Homeowners, Wind and Flood.  Sometimes the Homeowners and Wind are combined in one policy.  As Hurricane Season approaches, Wind and Flood are the two exposures that concern us most.

Review Coverage
Prior to a storm approaching, it is wise to review your coverage and ensure you understand your current limits, deductibles and policy exclusions. Most policies have separate Hurricane Deductibles that can range from 2 to 25 percent of the Dwelling limit. Also, Flood insurance policies will not offer limits in excess of $250,000 for a building and $100,000 for Contents, though higher limits may be obtained through Excess Flood policies offered by private insurers such as Lloyds of London. After a storm is a terrible time to be reviewing your policy for the first time.  

Make Records
Also, it is wise to record or photograph the interior of your home, including the inside of all drawers and closets as a record of contents. This documentation will be extremely helpful should you need to file a claim. Finally, have a plan and know what you will do as a storm approaches.   

Plan Ahead
As a storm approaches, follow your plan. Be sure shutter panels are in place as some insurers, including Citizens, may reduce claim payments under certain conditions if panels are not in place. Bring in or secure outdoor property such as furniture or watercraft. Collect valuables and valuable papers and leave early if you intend to evacuate. Evacuating at the last minute can be dangerous.

Damage Control
After a claim, take immediate steps to minimize damage and make any emergency repairs. You do not need prior permission from the insurer to take these steps. In fact, your policy likely obligates you to take these steps. You can either report your claim to your agent or your insurer. Things can be chaotic after a Hurricane so we recommend reporting the claim however you can and as quickly as possible.