Hawaii residents are inspired to evaluate insurance coverage insurance policies and deductibles

As hurricane season approaches and Hawaiian residents prepare their 14-day emergency kits, the insurance department wants to encourage consumers to review their insurance policies and understand their deductibles.

“It is important to know what your policies cover before a disaster strikes so that you have the coverage you need to minimize any significant financial impact on you and your family,” said Commissioner Colin M. Hayashida.

“Most homeowners buy a policy, renew it year after year, forgetting to take into account that renovations and additions need to be included in the policy. Even if the homeowner hasn’t made any improvements, the increased cost of rebuilding will affect coverage. Every homeowner needs to review their insurance policies to make sure they have adequate coverage to rebuild and replace their losses, ”said Hayashida.

Consumers need to be aware that regular homeowner and tenant insurance does not cover hurricane and flood damage. Hurricane insurance can be purchased separately or added to the policy to supplement home contents insurance to cover hurricane damage. Homeowners need to be aware that insurance companies will be able to put a moratorium in place and no longer be able to write new policies once a tropical storm approaches our islands.

In addition, damage caused by flooding is not covered by household or hurricane insurance. Because flooding can happen anytime, anywhere, even if you are outside of a high risk area, it is important for consumers to get flood insurance. Consumers purchasing a National Flood Insurance Program policy must plan in advance as there is typically a 30 day waiting period for the policy to take effect.

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“To avoid surprises, consumers also need to understand their deductibles. Your deductible is what you pay out of pocket before your insurance goes into effect. It’s important to check the deductible and regularly thereafter to make sure you can pay it in the event of a disaster, ”said Hayashida.

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The deductible for a homeowner policy is usually a set dollar amount that can range from $ 500 to $ 5,000. Often times there is an additional deductible for civil protection such as hurricane and earthquake. The additional deductible is often expressed as a percentage of the homeowner’s home insurance limit (Coverage A). For example, if the coverage limit for home insurance A is $ 400,000, a five percent disaster control deductible is $ 20,000.

Consumers should review their policy statement page to understand their Hurricane Deductible level and contact their agent or insurance company with any questions.

For more information on flood and hurricane insurance, please visit the Insurance Department website under Consumer Resources at cca.hawaii.gov/ins/resources/

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