Hurricane season concludes each year on November 30, and tropical storms affecting the U.S. in the fall are not uncommon. Hurricane Wilma, for example, made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane in Florida on October 24, 2005, seven years ago, causing $10.3 billion in insured losses, or $11.7 billion in 2011 dollars. Wilma was the fourth costliest hurricane in U.S. history, an I.I.I. analysis determined.
The I.I.I. has insurance experts who can discuss the possible economic ramifications of the storm, answer coverage questions and describe how the claims process works. Sandy is projected to bring strong winds and heavy rainfall as well as potentially high surf to coastal states such as Florida, North Carolina and Virginia in the coming days, meteorologists predict.
There is a wealth of information on insurance and hurricanes on the I.I.I. website, including the following:
- Facts and Statistics: Hurricanes; Flood Insurance
- Issues Updates: Hurricane and Windstorm Deductibles; Catastrophes and Insurance Issues.
- Consumer Information: Hurricane Preparedness
- Disaster Planning: Free Software and Apps
Wind damage from both tropical storms and hurricanes is covered under standard homeowners, renters and business insurance policies.
Flood damage is generally not covered under standard homeowners, renters and business insurance policies. Flood coverage is available both from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some private insurance companies. Flood insurance covers losses resulting from heavy or prolonged rain, coastal storm surge and failure of levees or dams. The NFIP provides coverage for up to $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for personal possessions and $500,000 for a commercial structure and $500,000 for contents. Excess flood insurance, for coverage above and beyond the limits available from the NFIP, is available from private insurers.
Damage to cars from wind and flooding is covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy; it is an optional coverage, although more than 75 percent of all Americans choose to purchase it.
-"Insurance Information Institute"
-Lucas R. Zeiler