Hurricane Sandy Insurance Coverage: Bridging the Gap
Experiencing Hurricane Sandy, as would be the case with many other violent storms, has taken New York and more specifically Long Island homeowners to task. The ensuing home repair and remodeling resulting from the widespread and varied degrees of the Hurricane Sandy aftermath has challenged even the well prepared homeowner.
Quite frankly, it has become a lesson in insurance policies and assurances. The perceived value of a policy provides a general assurance bringing peace of mind to the homeowner. In many cases a disheartening discovery has been brought to bear by the most recent devastation and you may have found out that your policy does not provide complete restoration to what is called the pre-storm condition. In short, your settlement check won’t be enough.
Under normal circumstances, the act of acquiring an insurance policy for some is simply to satisfy a requirement as a condition of purchase (like buying a car). It is often intentionally minimized allowing the smallest payment possible simply to address a smaller budget. The truth is that for every policy, no matter what insurance is being provided, to some extent, the fine print is dismissed for review at a later time and usually referenced only if needed.
The industry of insuring property and/or personal property has been pretty well thought out and tested over time. It is safe to say that in general, it allows an individual to select what level of risk they are comfortable with based upon a monthly investment that fits their budget. The greater or lesser amount of insurance you decide to purchase will directly impact what value is returned to you in the event of a claim. It is strictly a function of the old adage “you get what you pay for.” Finding a shortfall vs. what you may have expected from your claim doesn’t happen because the industry of insurance providers is trying to trick you out of your money. This is because they provide flexibility within policies and are sensitive to cost relative to what you are prepared to invest.
Restating the obvious, it comes down to the fine print. If you use a traditional agent, they remain available to advise you on your policy and coverage’s. However, in today s marketplace, on-line policies are also available, widely accepted and convenient. The on-line insurance provider enjoys a reduced overhead by eliminating the cost traditionally invested in providing a local agent. The benefit to you is an affordable product and all the detailed information is there for your review.
The issue is simple, whether you engage an authorized agent who will advise you or investing your own study time in an on-line discussion about your policy, you have the responsibility to know your coverage’s.
There are usually two scenarios that take place after a significant storm like Sandy regarding claims and settlements. One is when you simply do not receive enough settlement to replace what has been lost and the other is when the replacement or restoration includes an upgrade that wasn’t part of the original coverage.
For example, if your home was destoryed during the Superstorm and you have to redo your entire roof, do you just replace it, or do you decide to do that addition, dormer or extension that you were contemplating?
In both cases how does the average homeowner bridge the gap?