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Hurricane Season Is Here. It's Time To Review Your Insurance Coverage

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As the Central Pacific Hurricane season starts, it’s a good time to make sure you have enough home insurance coverage.

Colin Hayashida is the state insurance commissioner and said homeowners and renters should review their policies’ coverages and exclusions at least once a year.

"If the policy goes into how to file a claim, you should review that as well," Hayashida said. "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 noted that renovations and extensions needed to be added to the insurance policy. But even if no improvements were made, he advised reviewing the policy to make sure there is adequate coverage.

Homeowners should also review their deductible, which is typically a set dollar amount. There is often an additional deductible for catastrophic coverage, such as hurricane or earthquake. The additional deductible is often expressed as a percentage of the homeowners' dwelling coverage (Coverage A) limit. For example, if the homeowners insurance Coverage A limit is $400,000, then a 5% deductible for catastrophic coverage would be $20,000.

Those with a mortgage are required to have homeowners and hurricane insurance. Flood insurance is separate and can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program at FloodSmart.gov. But plan ahead, as there is typically a 30-day waiting period for the policy to go into effect.

More information on flood and hurricane insurance can be found on the Insurance Divison's website under Consumer Resources at cca.hawaii.gov/ins/resources.

Jason Ubay is the managing editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Send your story ideas to him at jubay@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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