The violent storms that strike the Gulf and Atlantic states can cause billions of dollars of damage and leave families out of a home and overwhelmed. A little homework can go a long way toward helping you protect your family and your belongings.
Do you need it?
Location, location, location
Exactly where you live in a hurricane-prone area can have a major impact on how much you pay for homeowner’s coverage. Generally, the closer the home is to the water, the more susceptible it is to hurricane damage.
Age does matter
They just don’t build them like they used to. And that’s generally a good thing when it comes to houses in a hurricane zone. Building codes and other construction guidelines have become stricter over the years. Insurance companies now require storm-resistant buildings as a large part of their underwriting process.
Above and beyond
It’s important that your home is up to code, but it’s also worth looking for other safety upgrades that go beyond the minimum requirements. For example, research online and consulting a local architect as to which type of roof covering (shingles, tile, etc.) performs well in these high hazard areas. Metal straps and clips in the attic that connect the roof to exterior walls are now standard building code. It may be hard to imagine losing your entire roof, but it can happen with powerful storms.
Ways to lower your hurricane insurance costs
The following changes may reduce your hurricane insurance costs:
- Storm shutters
- Wind-resistant roofing
- Hurricane straps, clips, and anchor belts
- Garage door braces
- Secondary water protection — essentially an extra layer of waterproofing between shingles and the roof sheathing