Turns out Hawaiian Homeowners Might not be Insured Against Damage from Hurricane Lane
As Hurricane Lane is poised to make itself known to Hawaiians pretty soon, residents taking refuge in bunkers and safe-zones are facing uncertainty regarding the total amount of damage that will take place. As a matter of fact, there is a lot of worry and doubt as to whether insurance covers will be able to compensate for the impending destruction.
At the moment, the hurricane has been labeled a Category 3, exhibiting features of a slow-moving system. That being said, Hurricane Lane could become the first major hurricane to hit the Hawaiian Islands in over 25 years!
In fact, Lane has already demonstrated its destructive power by sending torrential rains and strong winds towards the islands. Additionally, according to information from the National Weather Service, over 30 inches of the island has been submerged due to rising sea level from the rains, resulting in floods of catastrophic proportions!
The Hawaiian Structure of Home Insurance
Unlike in most American States whereby hurricanes are part of the insurance coverage, the same cannot be said for Hawaii. Hurricanes are not part of the coverage, pitting homeowners to lose millions of dollars in property damage.
However, if the property happens to be mortgaged, the lender will most likely need to have a policy.
That being said, even if one does have a hurricane policy, any flood damage will not be covered. As a result, residents will have to buy flood insurance in order to get any damage done from the storm duly covered.
For the areas designated as high-flood zones in Hawaii, it’s a given that they will have to purchase flood insurance. However, in areas considered low flood zones, resident owners might pass on the policy.
Keeping this in mind, as per the statistics recorded by the Census Bureau, of the 543,000 households present in Hawaii, around 60,100 were enforced with flood insurance policies by 2016.
In a press statement by the Insurance Information Institute, spokesman Michael Barry stated that it was dangerous for individuals in the low flood zone areas not to purchase the insurance simply because they believed that it was safe, and optional.
Additionally, he continued on to say that it is risky for individuals living in places prone to storms not to take any flood coverage. As many previous homeowners and victims of floods know, it only takes one catastrophic flood to completely ruin your home.
Moreover, quite a number of individuals fail to read their insurance contracts to comprehend what is and what is not covered. So many of them end up surprised when they are not compensated for any damages that take place.
In fact, in 2017, there were quite a number of catastrophic hurricanes that hit American coasts. These included the likes of Maria, Harvey, and Irma. Their total damage combined went up to $265 billion and from the statistics released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The last major storm that rocked the Hawaiian coast was in 1992, and that was Hurricane Inki. As a result, there was over $1.6 billion in insured damages, which would amount to about $3 billion dollars today.
That being said, here are some of the ways you can be prepared for any impending storms in the near future.
Confirm your hurricane deductible
Depending on the State that you’re in and your current insurance policy, there’s a good chance that you might have a hurricane deductible. In fact, it’s a surety in 19 states. Others will be dependent on your policy.
That being said, the deductible ranges from 1 to 5 percent, regarding all the specifics of the current contract that you have.
In fact, some homeowners have a preference for higher deductibles if the option is available.
One thing you have to note is that the percentage of the deductible is based on the value of your insurance, and not on the damage that is caused.
Be ready for any flooding
While a majority of homeowners have their policies covering issues such as wind damage, quite a number of them are missing flood damage. Interestingly, it is flooding that causes the most destruction in such instances.
In fact, it’s a given that most people that live in areas which are prone to hurricanes are also highly susceptible to flooding.
Hence, for you to get flood coverage, you will have to access flood insurance from either a private insurer, or from the federal National Flood Insurance Program. That being said, do bear in mind that each of these insurances have their coverage limitations and exclusions.
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