REVIEW POLICIES NOW: Make sure your insurance policy provides the coverage you need and will remain in force through the storm season. If you have any doubts, ask your agent.
THE INSURANCE BOX: Insurance companies have an imaginary box drawn over a map of Florida and its waters. Once a storm enters that box, regardless of whether it’s projected to hit land, insurance companies won’t write policies until the storm dissipates or leaves the zone.
LAST RESORT: If you can’t find coverage, there’s always Citizens Property Insurance Corp. It is the state-created insurer of last resort in Florida and can usually provide coverage when private insurers can’t or won’t. Check out www.CitizensFla.com or contact the Florida Market Assistance Program at (800) 524-9023 for help finding coverage.
TWO COVERAGES: Wind and storm coverage is different from flood insurance. Make sure you have both, particularly if you live in a flood-prone area, which about 80 percent of Florida’s 17 million residents do. For information on the federal government’s flood insurance program, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
CONTACT NUMBERS: If you are forced to leave your home, make sure to contact your agent or insurance company and leave a number where you can be contacted.
TAKE PICTURES: Document the contents of your home thoroughly either with photographs or a video recorder. Photograph any storm damage and keep receipts for any temporary repairs to the home.
INSURANCE REVIEW: Don’t make extensive repairs or throw out damaged furniture or other items until a claims adjuster has been able to assess the damage.
State Farm Insurance: (800) 732-5246; Allstate Floridian Insurance: (800) 547-8676; Nationwide Insurance: (800) 421-3535; USAA: (800) 531-8222; Citizens Property Insurance: (800) 411-CPIC; Travelers of Florida: (800) 252-4633; Progressive: (800) 776-4737; Mercury: (800) 987-6000; National Flood Insurance Program: (800) 427-4661