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Storm insurance tips homeowners need to know

ORLANDO, Fla. — As Idalia gets closer to Florida, it’s important for homeowners to have their insurance ducks in a row.

While homeowners have no control over where the storm winds up, there are some things they can do to make their homes more watertight.

Action 9 spoke with insurance expert Tom Cotton, “Wind-driven water can actually penetrate stucco and concrete blocks. So, if you have a really good coat of good high-quality paint, you get a watertight envelope (and) caulk and seal around your windows.”

Cotton went on to explain how using a pool noodle to block ridge vents can also help keep water out of the attic, and he recommends taking video of your belongings before the storm, because you may not remember everything you have and what it’s worth.

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“If you are describing it and you have a video description of it, then for the insurance adjuster, it would be a lot easier for them to put a number on something like that,” Cotton said.

After the storm passes, if it’s safe to do so, take steps to prevent further damage, keep any receipts for supplies used, and remember to contact your insurance company first before signing anything.

“Anyone that comes to your door soliciting work or saying they’re working in the neighborhood, and they’d like to do an inspection, that should be a red flag. Just send them on their way,” Cotton advised.

Homeowners should also keep in mind that due to higher hurricane deductibles, they might want to hold off filing a claim for minor damage because that will show up on their insurance record whether the claim is paid or not.

“Usually, 2% or 5%. So, for every $100,000 of home value, it’s a $2,000 deductible. You need to keep that in mind before you file a claim. You might have some damage, but you might not want to report it because it probably wouldn’t pay anything anyway,” Cotton said.

LINK to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation

LINK to Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation

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