Many people don't have hurricane and flood insurance coverage despite the destruction such disasters bring. Some people try to buy flood insurance at the last minute, such as when the hurricane season has started and storm warnings have been issued, but they rarely succeed. Here are some of the reasons you shouldn't wait until the last minute to buy home insurance coverage:
There Is a Waiting Period
Insurance companies don't want to deal with those who buy insurance only when the risk is imminent. The insurance company would cease to be in business if they operated that way because everyone would buy coverage at the last minute and then submit their claims when the imminent risk does occur. This is even truer with risks that can be predicted days or even weeks in advance, such as hurricanes.
For this reason, these companies have enacted waiting periods to which everyone who purchases flood or hurricane insurance must adhere. The waiting period varies by state, but it can be as long as 30 days. This means if you buy coverage today and your home is flooded three weeks later, the insurance company will not honor your claim.
An Inspection May Be Necessary
Insurance companies have different policies on how they sell coverage, but most of them will need to know that your home is in a good condition before selling you coverage. This is why they have inspection requirements that homes have to pass before they are covered. If that is the case with your insurance company or area, then it may delay the activation of your flood or hurricane insurance. Don't forget that other homeowners in the area may also wait until the last minute to buy coverage, which means that the insurance companies servicing the area may be flooded with applications and home inspectors may also be flooded with requests for service. All of these factors may delay your coverage application.
Some Insurance Companies Stop Selling Coverage Early
Flood or hurricane damage is expensive: repair and replacement costs can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. As already explained, insurance companies have to protect themselves against such costly risks. Another way in which they do this is by stopping sales for hurricane coverage once a hurricane watch has been announced. This is because at that point hurricane damage is almost a certainty, and insurance companies cover potential risks and not sure events.
The time to include flood or hurricane insurance in your homeowners insurance policy is now. Don't wait until the weather gurus or the government starts issuing dire weather warnings before trying to buy coverage.