Storm WatchStorm Watch

How to prepare for a hurricane

Insurance 101

If you are told
to evacuate

After the hurricane

Insurance 101

First, review insurance

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 31, 1998

Before a hurricane threatens, insurance industry representatives suggest you:

Read your policy to see exactly what coverage you have. If you don't understand, get your agent to explain it.

Find out whether you have "guaranteed replacement cost" insurance -- what it would really cost to replace your home and contents at current value. Or do you have "actual cash value" -- depreciated cost? Does your policy have an automatic "inflation guard" to keep up with current costs?

Be aware that your homeowners policy does not cover flood damage. For this, you must have separate flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Know your insurance carrier and make sure you have phone numbers for the company. Keep your policy in a safe place, and if you have to evacuate, take the policy with you.

If you rent, be aware that your landlord's homeowners insurance does not cover your possessions. You need your own renters insurance.

There's a 30-day waiting period on flood insurance from the time you apply to the day it's effective. If you wait to call your agent until the hurricane warnings go up, it's too late

Related stories:

Taking inventory of your property

Important paperwork to take

What you should know about filing damage claims

© Copyright 1998 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.