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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis: First Hurricane of the 2018 Season Reminds Floridians to Prepare


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Hurricane Beryl, the first named hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, is a reminder for Floridians to financially prepare now before a storm threatens the state. Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis encourages Floridians to get prepared financially, know their insurance coverage, and research what kinds of coverages they may need.

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Although the first named hurricane of the season may not impact our state, Floridians should be reminded to prepare and protect finances. This weekend, snap photos or videos of your belongings and financial records, and put copies of insurance policies, including your insurance agent’s contact information, into a secure plastic bag.
“Your home is one of your largest investments, but without the right insurance coverage, it could become a major loss. Hurricane Irma insured losses climbed to more than $9.7 billion. When tropical storm and hurricane warnings are issued throughout Florida, no new insurance policies can be written so it's important to review your coverage and determine where you could be vulnerable before a storm approaches.”
Insurance coverages you may need:

1. Windstorm Coverage (if not included in your current homeowners policy).
Windstorm coverage may be excluded if you live in a wind pool area (generally within 1000 – 1500 feet of a body of water, such as the gulf or the ocean).

2. Flood Insurance (if not included in your current homeowners policy).
Flood coverage may be included in your current homeowners policy by endorsement, or a separate policy may be issued. This coverage is important to have even if you are not in a designated flood zone.

3. Inflation Guard Endorsement.
This coverage may be added to most policies and provides for an automatic percentage increase in coverage amounts to help keep your coverage aligned with current construction costs.

4. Additional Living Expenses/Loss of Use.
This coverage provides for the “additional” expenses of living elsewhere due to a loss to the insured residence by covered damage.

5. Replacement Cost Endorsement.
This coverage pays up to the limits for the replacement of a damaged or destroyed home or property, without deducting depreciation. This is different from Actual Cash Value, which pays for the actual value of damaged items and does not consider depreciation.

6. Law and Ordinance.
This coverage pays the additional cost to rebuild or repair damages due to the enforcement of any ordinance or law regarding construction, repair, or demolition.

7. Food Spoilage.
This coverage is not always covered by most policies; however, if the coverage is included, most companies cover food spoilage due to the interruption of power caused by direct physical damage on the insured premises.

8. Sinkhole Coverage.
This coverage covers sinkhole losses on any structure, including personal property. Coverage may be restricted to the principal building, as defined in the policy.

Most homeowners insurance policies have a separate hurricane deductible of two to five percent of a home’s insured value. If a home is damaged due to a hurricane, homeowners will be responsible for this deductible, which may be higher than their normal deductible amount. While every insurance policy is different, as a general rule, homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage. Damage caused to a car by wind, falling trees, flood, etc. is covered under auto insurance, if the consumer carries comprehensive auto coverage.
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