The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, although the peak season is mid-August to late October. Last year’s three monster storms — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria — hit during that period of high storm activity. Combined, they caused $265 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
It’s a big risk not to have sufficient coverage if you live in an area prone to storms. As many past hurricane victims know, it only takes one major weather event to seriously damage — or destroy — your home.
“Most people fail to read their [homeowners] insurance contract to understand what’s covered and what’s not, and then they’re surprised after an event when they discover they didn’t have the coverage,” said Lynne McChristian, a consultant to the Insurance Information Institute.
It’s also important not to wait until a storm is on the horizon. Depending on the type of insurance, there could be a lag between when you first decide to get it and when it takes effect. And once a storm has been named, forget about it.
Here are tips for making sure you’re prepared if the next “big one” heads your way.