What Hurricane Michael Has Taught Homeowners About Gaps in Insurance Coverage

What Hurricane Michael Has Taught Homeowners About Gaps in Insurance Coverage
While we knew Hurricane Michael would be bad, weather forecasters did not predict how extreme the storm would be. Hurricane Michael ended up being the most powerful storm in history to hit the Florida panhandle and is considered to be the third worst hurricane on record to make landfall in the United States.
While it’s still early to determine the total damage from the storm, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported that approximately 38,000 claims have been submitted so far, and the total damage from the storm could cost as much as $10 billion.

A Shocking Number of Homeowners Are Underinsured
As homeowners are in the process of picking up the pieces from Hurricane Michael, many are faced with the harsh reality that not all hurricane-related damage will be covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy. The near Category-5 hurricane created 155 mile-per-hour winds, which stripped roofs and caused many trees to fall. The other major danger that Hurricane Michael brought to coastal communities was flooding from an enormous storm surge. The way that the damage occurred to the home will determine if the homeowner’s claim will be covered.

For instance, if the home incurred water damage because the property’s roof blew off from the strong winds and rain entered the home, the claim could be covered. However, if the property experienced water damage due to a nearby river that flooded as a result of excessive rainfall, the claim would probably not be covered unless the homeowner had supplemental flood insurance.

It’s estimated that the recent Hurricane Florence created between $20 and $30 billion in damage. What was so astonishing about Hurricane Florence was the incredible flooding throughout the Carolinas. The heartbreaking reality is that 85 percent of the properties impacted were uninsured. It’s estimated that only 10 percent of properties in North Carolina have flood insurance policies in place.

How a Residential Inspection Can Identify Gaps in Insurance Coverage
What we can learn from Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence is making sure that insureds have adequate insurance coverage in place for the risks that could impact their properties. Insurance carriers can add a lot of value to homeowners by conducting an in-person residential inspection and identifying risks that the homeowner may not have considered before. Insurance carriers need to bring up any potential gaps in insurance coverage and make homeowners aware of ways that they can prevent heartbreak and financial ruin in the aftermath of a disaster.

Our team at Insurance Risk Services can help to strengthen your relationship with insureds and identify any gaps in insurance coverage by completing a residential inspection on behalf of your business. By completing a thorough in-person residential inspection, we can identify risks that would not otherwise be revealed in data and help you to best determine which risks are worth taking.

Contact us to learn how we can help you strengthen your underwriting process, build relationships, and mitigate risk with a thorough residential inspection report.

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