Thursday, May 17 2012, 07:09 PM EDT
Don't get blown away by hurricane insurance costs
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- We've showed you how important it is to prepare your home for hurricane season, making sure you have the proper shutters. But those shutters can only do so much, you also need insurance protecting your home and there are simple things you can do now to bring that cost down.
120 mile-per-hour winds barreling at your home. Even if shutters are up, their protection means nothing if you don't have the right insurance.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your insurance policy covers wind and do it now.
Richard Bogani, Insurance agent: If you're looking for homeowners insurance it's important to do it before it gets in the box, which is about a 300 mile radius out from Florida, once it's in the box, we're shut down and we can't bind at all, even if we wanted to.
When it comes to putting up shutters and your insurance, it's important to put them up when the threat of a storm arises.
Bogani: Even a Cat 1, if it were to hit, and any damage was caused and the shutters weren't on the house, the insurance company doesn't have to pay the claim.
A big piece of advice insurance agents have ahead of hurricane season, make sure to check your deductible, they're typically around 2 to 5 percent. But you want to make sure it's as low as possible.
Bogani: I've seen policies literally cut in half, the premiums, literally by good wind mitigation.
One thing you can do right now to lower your insurance costs by as much as 75 percent, a wind mitigation inspection. An inspector will come to your house and check on the roof, the windows, and the hurricane shutters you have, to see what kind of wind safety features are in place.
Bogani: Those run about $80 to $150 dollars. But you could save thousands.
You're normal home insurance policy doesn't include flood protection. That's something you''re going to need to purchase separately.
Bogani: I'm often told I don't live in a flood zone and what I would like people to consider is that we live on a peninsula, surrounded by an ocean with a big water hole in the middle of it, so really we're all kind of in a flood zone.
And the one thing insurance agents can't stress enough. Don't wait, Get your home insured now. If you wait to long your options could be limited.