Hurricane Damage & Renters Insurance
Not everyone impacted by a hurricane is a homeowner. Volusia County is also home to thousands of people who rent apartments. These folks need to be protected in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster.
This is where renters insurance is helpful. It covers a range of losses to the personal possessions in a renter’s apartment. If the building structure itself is damaged, then the landlord’s policy should cover repairs. Below, our Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claim lawyers review what you need to know.
How Do You Buy Renters Insurance?
This insurance is not included in your rent. Instead, you typically need to contact an insurance company and get your own policy. There are many companies in Florida that offer renters insurance, and a simple online search should identify the key providers.
As always, pay attention to price but also things like your deductible and the breadth of coverage offered. Not all policies are the same.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover after a Hurricane?
The full extent of coverage is determined by the language of the contract you signed. However, we can offer the following general statements:
Standard renters insurance does not cover flood damage or property damage as a result of storm surge. Instead, you need flood insurance for that.
Renters insurance should cover damage to your possessions caused by hurricane winds. This means you can get damaged property—furniture, electronics, computers, etc.—replaced or repaired following a storm.
You might also get money to cover spoiled food. Some policies offer a certain amount, such as up to $500.
Your policy might also cover temporary living expenses. Many apartments are uninhabitable, so this is vital coverage to have. It will pay for you to stay at a hotel if the storm has displaced you. Coverage might be up to a certain percentage of your policy limit.
We encourage consumers to pay close attention to what is covered in the policy and the amounts offered. Sometimes, the best coverage is not the cheapest.
Do Insurers Sometimes Refuse to Pay Claims?
Yes. Sometimes there is disagreement about whether your renters insurance or the landlord’s policy should cover the claim. In other situations, an insurer might question whether your property was really damaged in the storm.
To help with a claim, renters should do all the things that homeowners do—create a detailed inventory and take pictures of all damaged items. This type of evidence helps support a claim in the eyes of an insurer.
Renters might also need to take steps to mitigate damage. For example, you might need to cover items with a tarp or move them to a different location while the apartment building is getting fixed. Ideally, you will quickly notify your insurer of the loss so that they can work with you on mitigation strategies.
Sometimes You Need a Lawyer’s Help
Insurers often reject claims without a valid reason or dig in and delay in hopes that the insured will agree to a paltry settlement. If you have a dispute with an insurer, you might benefit from reaching out to an attorney at Bundza & Rodriguez today. Please call 386-252-5170 to schedule your consultation.