As Hurricane Ian impacts Florida, it is important to know what sort and level of coverage your policy contents.
Florida Statute 627 requires an insurance carrier who issues a residential property insurance policy to provide for hurricane and windstorm coverage.
The insurance carrier also must offer, at the option of the policyholder/homeowner, an exclusion of hurricane coverage or windstorm coverage.
To have coverage excluded from the property policy from hurricane and windstorm damage, the policyholder/homeowner must personally write to the insurance company and thus it is in the insurance coverage documents stating, in his or her own handwriting, the following statement: “I do not want the insurance on my (home/mobile home/condominium unit) to pay for damage from windstorms or hurricanes. I will pay those costs. My insurance will not.” This statement must be dated and signed by every named insured on the policy.
Also, any policy that contains a separate hurricane deductible must on its face include in boldfaced type no smaller than 18 points the following statement: THIS POLICY CONTAINS A SEPARATE DEDUCTIBLE FOR HURRICANE LOSSES, WHICH MAY RESULT IN HIGH OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES TO YOU.
For those with a mortgage or lien on their home or structure, the policyholder/homeowner also must provide the insurance company with a written statement from the mortgage holder (bank) or lien holder indicating that the mortgage holder or lien holder approves the policyholder electing to exclude windstorm coverage or hurricane coverage.
An insurance company also must make available an exclusion of coverage for the contents of the residence. Again, the exclusion is at the option of the policyholder, who must submit a signed statement, in his or her own handwriting, declining the coverage
Lastly, it’s important to note that flood insurance coverage is separate and apart from hurricane and windstorm damage coverage. Thus, even if a hurricane causes a storm surge and heavy rains that lead to standing water and flooding of the house, that hurricane coverage will not apply for those resulting damages and losses; therefore, it’s important to know if you are in a flood zone and/or susceptible to storm surge in order to have property insurance coverage from the flood insurance policy.