Check your insurance policies to be prepared for storms


ACTIONS CALLING HIM VERY BRAVE AND A HERO FOR SAVING SO MANY PRECIOUS LIVES. WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU LOOKED OVER YOUR HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE POLICY? TAMPA BAY FARED PRETTY WELL DURING SUBTROPICAL STORM ALBERTO, BUT THIS IS A REMINDER, NOW IS THE TIME TO ENSURE YOU HAVE AN INSURANCE POLICY THAT PROTECTS YOU. CONSUMER INVESTIGATOR SHANNON BEHNKEN JOINS ME NOW. THERE IS ALWAYS FINE PRINT IN ALL OF THESE POLICIES. I’M STILL HEARING FROM PEOPLE DEALING WITH HURRICANE DAMAGE FROM IRMA. THAT’S A REMINDER THAT NOW IS THE TIME TO CHECK OUT THOSE INSURANCE PREMIUMS, AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED. WHILE WE WERE OUT HERE, THIS BRANCH FELL ON THE HOUSE. FROM TREE DAMAGE TO FLOODING. STORMS CAN LEAVE YOU WITH A MESS THAT CAN COST SERIOUS MONEY TO FIX. WHEN HURRICANE IRMA HIT, DIANE LEARNED SHE NEEDED MORE THAN $10,000 JUST TO START THE INSURANCE PROCESS. THAT IS JUST TO REMOVE THE TREE. Reporter: INSURANCE ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE. DEDUCTIBLES ARE BASED ON THE COVERED AMOUNT. IF YOU’RE COVERED FOR $300,000, YOU COULD BE ON THE HOOK FOR AS MUCH AS $15,000, BEFORE INSURANCE WOULD PAY A DIME. I MET UP WITH CFO JIMMY PATRONIS AFTER IRMA. YOU HAD AN ENVIRONMENT IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA AFTER THE FOUR NAMED STORMS WE HAD BACK IN THE EARLY 2000’S. THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY HAD TO FIND A WAY TO COME BACK IN FLORIDA. PART OF IT IS CHANGING THE DEDUCTIBLE STRUCTURE. Reporter: ANOTHER CHANGE? THE LAW NOW REQUIRES INSURANCE COMPANIES TO PUT YOUR MORTGAGE COMPANY ON YOUR INSURANCE CHECK TOO. SO WHEN YOU CALL, YOU’RE NOT GETTING ANY ANSWERS? NO, WE’RE GETTING A RUN AROUND. Reporter: SEVERAL HOMEOWNERS TURNED TO BETTER CALL BEHNKEN WHEN THE BANK WOULDN’T FORK OVER THE MONEY. THEY’RE GOING TO GIVE ME PARTIALS. LIKE THEY’RE HOLDING MY HAND, THAT I AIN’T OLD ENOUGH TO DO WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO BE DOING. KEEP IN MIND, IF YOU’RE BEHIND ON YOUR MORTGAGE, THE BANK MAY KEEP YOUR INSURANCE MONEY, OR THE LENDER COULD REQUIRE YOU TO SUBMIT ESTIMATES BEFORE THEY SIGN OFF ON YOUR INSURANCE SETTLEMENT. NOW IS ALSO THE TIME TO CONSIDER FLOOD INSURANCE. KEEP IN MIND, RISING WATER IS NOT INCLUDED IN STANDARD HOMEOWNER INSURANCE POLICIES. SO YOU’LL NEED TO GET A SEPARATE POLICY FOR THAT, OR YOU COULD BE IN FOR A BIG SHOCK. YEAH, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY THAT. YOU CAN NORMALLY, ALMOST ALWAYS SHOP AROUND FOR A BETTER HOMEOWNER’S RATE, BUT NOT ALWAYS. NOT ALWAYS, NOT IF THERE’S A NAMED STORM OUT THERE. LAST WEEK WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN A GOOD TIME. THIS WEEK, THE WINDOW HAS OPENED BACK UP. NOW IS THE TIME TO LOOK INTO THAT AGAIN. WE KNOW THAT WE’RE IN THE SEASON NOW.

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