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Tips for Hurricane/Tropical Storm Season

Important Information for Alabama Citizens

Contact: Ragan Ingram, Assistant Commissioner

334-241-4146

6/9/2005

Hurricane Deductibles
Many companies in Mobile and Baldwin counties apply significant deductibles for hurricane coverage on a percentage basis. The percentages usually run from one to five percent.  Hurricane deductibles apply only when a hurricane has been declared. They do not apply during tropical storms. There are some optional deductibles that run even higher. Review your policy and endorsements to determine what deductible your policy has. In almost all cases, the deductible applies if the loss occurs during the time period beginning with the issuance of a hurricane watch through the period 24 hours after the last hurricane watch or warning expires for the state.

Floods
Homeowners and mobile home policies generally do not cover floods. Find out if you are in a Flood Zone and whether you are eligible to purchase Flood insurance through the National Flood Program. Call the National Flood Program at 1-800-638-6620 for more details. Please be advised that there is a waiting period for eligibility and that not all properties qualify for coverage.

Co-Insurance
Some companies will not insure properties if you do not maintain adequate replacement coverage limits. Some companies will allow you to insure your structure for less than the value, but you may then incur a co-insurance penalty. Additions and other improvements to your property should be reported to your insurance agent to avoid under-insuring your property.

Temporary Repairs
Most homeowners policies will pay reasonable and necessary costs you incur for temporary repairs to covered property to protect it from further immediate damage or loss. Be sure to keep all receipts.

Additional Living Expenses
Sometimes a home is uninhabitable because of storm loss. Be sure to note what length of time your policy covers for additional living expense and what responsibilities you have regarding keeping records of such expenses.

Replacement Cost Value vs. Actual Cash Value
Even with full replacement cost coverage, the claim is initally settled on actual cash value basis. The difference is recoverable only when the item or property is replaced.

Automobile Damage
Homeowners coverage does not cover damage to automobiles in garages or carports. It is covered by automobile insurance.

Renter's Insurance
If you are renting property, the property owner's homeowners coverages does not cover your property. It is your responsibility to carry renter's coverage.