Summer and autumn often bring a lot of anxiety for many homeowners in the southeastern U.S., simply because there is always a chance they could get hit with a tropical storm or hurricane that may cause significant damage to their properties. Moreover, a large number of these Americans may not be aware of the ways in which their homes are covered by their current insurance policies, which can only add to the confusion and disappointment when such problems arise. As such, insurance agents might want to take the next few months to walk their clients through the plans protecting their homes, so there are no surprises down the road.
For those that can’t reach all of their clients in this way, though, it might be a good idea to at least contact them and remind them that taking this kind of overview themselves is often very wise, according to a report from Tampa Bay television station WFTS. Too often, consumers whose homes are damaged or even destroyed by tropical storms and hurricanes face greater costs for repairs than they anticipated, and their coverage may leave them more than a little short.
This can particularly be problematic if owners have made improvements to their homes in recent months without informing their insurers that they’d done so, the report said. That means that a property might be worth more than it is insured for, and the difference can have significant financial consequences for those affected.
Florida increasing protections for homeowners
Luckily for those who live in Florida in particular, the state’s laws now require that insurance companies provide residents with simple checklists that are designed to help them better understand their policies, and what they do and do not cover, the report said. These notices must also spell out the total amount of damages the insurers will cover, and other data that might be critical to their efforts to rebuild in the event of such a catastrophe.
Though most weather services seem to be predicting a relatively quiet hurricane season, that does not preclude their making landfall. Moreover, those estimates don’t count powerful tropical storms that can still cause significant havoc while not rising to the level of “hurricane.” Consequently, insurance agents might be able to not only better educate their clients, but also potentially improve their relationships and customer satisfaction by doing so.