Hurricane Insurance: Not Just For Gulf Coast Residents

Weather experts warn that the U.S may be entering a cycle of intense hurricanes, and that a major hurricane is very likely to occur on the Eastern Seaboard within the next 25 years. The recent spate of hard-hitting Gulf Coast hurricanes is seen as evidence that a future Eastern Seaboard storm may be imminent. As a result, insurance experts are advising that all Eastern Seaboard residents check their homeowners’ policies to ensure they have adequate hurricane coverage.

"Eighteen states, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware, allow insurers to issue homeowners policies with hurricane deductibles," notes Dale T. Krupowicz, Manager of Kornreich-NIA’s VIP@NIA For Life Division. "The problem is that many homeowners believe they are fully covered for hurricane damage when they are not. Gaps exist when major changes to the home, such as renovations and upgrades, are not added to the policy or factors like home appreciation and the rising cost of construction are not taken into account. In such cases, homeowners may have to shoulder a larger portion of replacement costs."

Another issue is that some policies do not provide unlimited guaranteed replacement coverage and instead have caps set on the total payout amount. "If your home has a high market value and a hurricane damages your residence, then the cost to rebuild may very well exceed the insurance reimbursement," says Krupowicz. Other unforeseen costs include hurricane-related problems, such as fungus and mold due to water damage, which is generally excluded or limited from homeowners policies, and flood damage, which is also usually excluded."The best way to protect yourself – and your home - is to update and check your homeowners policy regularly and discuss the need for flood insurance with your insurance representative," adds Krupowicz. "Your advisor can help you choose the appropriate policy to suit your needs as well as keep an eye on changes to your various insurance contracts."

East Coast residents, especially those who live close to or on the shoreline, can also take preventive measures to avoid or minimize potential damage from a hurricane. These include replacing existing home construction materials with more resilient structures, such as impact-resistant windows or shutters.

For more information, contact Dale Krupowicz at (212) 867-0070 or