Central Pacific Hurricane Season has started, so it’s policy review time

Central Pacific Hurricane Season - Approaching storm

Insurance companies in Hawaii are reminding homeowners to ensure they’re covered.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Season has begun, and Hawaii insurers are reminding homeowners to make sure they have adequate insurance coverage.

The state insurance commissioner has also reminded owners and renters to review their policies.

Reviewing a policy at least once per year to ensure that coverages and exclusions are appropriate for covering a homeowners property and possessions is highly recommended. Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Colin Hayashida has reminded state residents of the importance of this annual practice, particularly as Central Pacific Hurricane Season gets started.

“If the policy goes into how to file a claim, you should review that as well,” said Hayashida. “So this is something that you should do every year so you’re prepared for the situation if the, you know, unfortunate event or loss occurs. You don’t want to be left flat footed and not knowing what to do or who to call or who to contact.”

Hayashida also pointed out that any renovations or extensions added to homes must also be added to an insurance policy. Those are not necessarily automatically covered by an existing policy. That said, even if a homeowner hasn’t made any major home improvements during the last year, the insurance commissioner still recommends looking the policy over to make sure it continues to provide enough coverage.

The deductible is one of the most important factors to review in Central Pacific Hurricane Season.

The deductible on a homeowners insurance policy is usually an established dollar amount. That said, there is frequently also a deductible for catastrophic coverage, which includes events such as earthquakes and hurricanes. That additional deductible will usually be in the form of a percentage of the home’s dwelling coverage limit, instead of being a flat dollar amount.

In Hawaii, homeowners with a mortgage must have both homeowners and hurricane insurance. Flood insurance is a different coverage and must be purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) run by FEMA. The earlier changes can be made, the better. The reason is that while the Central Central Pacific Hurricane Season - Approaching stormPacific Hurricane Season has already started, there is usually a 30-day waiting period before a new policy goes into effect. Therefore, the earlier coverage can be put in place, the sooner homeowners will be covered if a storm strikes.

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