In the time leading up to and following a hurricane or major storm the chances that you have questions regarding damages, insurance policies needed, and general preparedness of clients are high. We have assembled this FAQ to ensure that clients are receiving the best service possible.
If a customer purchased home insurance prior to a storm approaching, is it still valid during and after the storm?
Yes, if the insurance was bound and submitted prior to the storm the policy will still be in place and effective using the date on the application. Make sure you have confirmation of a bound policy prior to the storm approaching Florida.
Can a customer purchase flood insurance when a storm is approaching?
Typically flood insurance comes with a 30-day wait period. This means that if a flood policy is paid and purchased on January 1st, the policy will not become effective until 30 days from January 1st. The only way to avoid the 30-day wait period is if flood is required by a mortgage company for a new home closing.
When a storm approaches, at what point do insurance companies start to shut down?
Each insurance company treats this differently. Many insurance companies have a geographical boundary they will restrict writing of new policies and changes to existing policies if the storm has crossed. During hurricane season, it is always best to secure coverage early to prevent any issues with getting insurance for your home closing.
Who is liable if a tree falls while a home is listed for sale?
The rules for liability when a tree falls work the same whether a house is listed for sale or not. If the tree is on the property and falls on the house or other structures then it is typically covered by that homeowners policy. This typically applies if a tree blocks a driveway or wheelchair ramp but does not damage a structure. If a tree falls from a neighbor’s yard or a tree from your yard falls on a neighbor’s and structures are damaged then the owner of the structures, not the tree, will cover the cost through their homeowners policy. Keep in mind, most polices in Florida come with a higher out of pocket hurricane deductible. Be sure to check your own policy for precise information. For more information about tree liability reference our blog.