Palm trees blowing in a hurricaneFlorida residents know the importance of having homeowners insurance. Even though we’ve been on a winning streak the past several hurricane seasons, experts predict 2017 to be a year of heavy storms. What a lot of residents may not be fully be aware of is what exactly their homeowners insurance does and doesn’t cover. Below are a few topics you’ll want to talk over with your insurance agent before the next big storm hits.

Personal Property

Many insurance companies have limits on personal property. For example, antiques, jewelry, cash, or other valuables may require additional insurance. Also, if you’re keeping in your home possessions belonging to someone else, say, a dependent that may be away at college, these may or may not be covered. Just because you have a policy, don’t assume that everything in your home falls under personal coverage. Talk to your insurance provider to find out if you need to purchase additional protection.

Flooding

Many homeowners may be surprised to find out that their insurance policy does not cover flooding. This potential danger is not typically included in a policy and so must be purchased separately. Again, talk with your agent about protecting yourself against rising water.

Windstorm

Though windstorms and hurricanes are covered in most homeowner’s insurance policies, this is not always a given. If your home is within the Wind Pool, the coastal areas across Florida, your insurance company probably excludes this coverage. If this is the case, you’ll need to look into purchasing additional insurance.

Be Sure You Have Enough

A common mistake made by many homeowners is assuming that just because you’ve purchased insurance, you’re fully covered. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If you buy insurance according to the purchase price of your home, or the cost of your mortgage, there may be a difference in current prices, leaving you short in the event that you need to repair or rebuild.

A Final Word of Advice

The above are only a few useful tips and are by no means an exhaustive checklist of details you should know about your policy. For an in-depth insurance check-up, talk to your agent and be fully aware of what’s covered and what isn’t. Your agent may be able to suggest preventative measures you can take to decrease your premium, such as adding storm shutters or impact windows and doors.

Finally, plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to review your insurance policy, as new or additional coverage is not available if there is a current storm watch or warning. It’s hurricane season now and storms can form quickly. Those who prepare now will have the advantage.