Insurance Commissioner Ito warns people to check their insurance policies as Tropical Storm Ana approaches the state
Tropical Storm Ana is moving closer to Hawaii and the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Gordon Ito, is urging homeowners to check their insurance policies to ensure that they are protected from potential damages. Homeowners insurance is often a complicated matter for consumers, as many believe that their policies protect them from the full gamut of natural disasters they could fall prey to. This is not the case, however, especially when it comes to flood damage.
Becoming familiar with insurance policies can help avoid confusion
Commissioner Ito is advising state residents to familiarize themselves with their insurance policies. In the wake of Hurricane Iselle, which passed through Hawaii earlier this year, many homeowners were confused about what damages their policies covered. Many believed that their insurance provided them with protection against some of the property damage the storm had caused, but found that this was not accurate. In order to avoid confusion, Commissioner Ito suggests reading policies carefully to understand what is and is not covered.
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Homeowners insurance policies do not typically cover flood damage
When it comes to flood protection, most private homeowners insurance companies do not offer such coverage. This coverage must be purchased as a supplemental policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. Commissioner Ito is advising Hawaii residents to communicate with their insurance agents in order to better understand their policies. Even homeowners with coverage specifically protecting against hurricane damage should check their policies, as this coverage does not guard against flood damage.
Consumers advised to receive written explanation about their rejected claims directly from insurance companies
The Commissioner is also advising those that have their claims denied to receive this rejection in writing. In the past, insurance agents have informed consumers that their claims would be rejected, but agents do not have the authority to do so in most cases. If an insurer does deny a claim, receiving written information about the denial can help resolve confusion and give consumers a chance to know exactly why their claims were rejected.