Coastal Homeowners vs. Coastal Home Insurance
Coastal homeowners have a lot on their plate when it comes to insurance. Ever since Hurricane Ike made landfall near Galveston Island, causing extensive damage on the Texas Coast and to areas inland, the market for insurance to coastal homeowners has suffered. It will be difficult for homeowners in such places like Jefferson, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Brazoria and Matagorda because they may see a dwindling number of providers to choose from if some insurers decide to pull out of the market.
Insurers are dealing with many issues as well. One of the many problems insurers must deal with when it comes to coastal property insurance is deciding what insurance should pay the damage. Was it caused by wind? If so then the damage should be covered under windstorm insurance. But insurers have typically said damage from rising water caused by storm surge is flooding and covered by the National Flood Insurance Program. Most people insured with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association do not have flood insurance, and thus the problems grow.
In addition to this battle of who should pay, homeowners in the Southern states have been battling rising home insurance premiums and withdrawal of services for years, but Northeasterners have only recently joined the fight. Major carriers like Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and State Farm have canceled policies in places like Louisiana and Florida in addition to New York and other Northern states that haven’t experienced a hurricane in years. Here are some easy tips to keep in mind for Coastal Homeowners as hurricane season approaches:
- Keep emergency supplies on hand, such as canned food, water, flashlights, blankets, and first-aid kits.
- Also have a handheld radio and extra batteries for emergency updates and news reports.
- Have an evacuation plan in place for everyone in your family.
- Put storm shutters on your windows to prevent glass breakage.
- Only return home when officials deem is OK.
- Do not enter your home if you smell gas, floodwaters remain, or your home was damaged by fire and authorities have not said it’s safe to enter.
- Review your home insurance coverage. Make sure you’re fully protected, that you know your deductible, and that you have flood insurance and windstorm insurance.