Hurricane Homeowners Insurance
- What it is: Most homeowners insurance policies include coverage for wind damage. You should also purchase flood insurance, which provides compensation for flood damage (after you hit your deductible, which can range from $500 to $2,500 or higher). By pairing these two coverages — wind and flood — you essentially have hurricane coverage for your home.
- When to buy: In many states you can’t open a new policy (i.e., for flood damage) after a storm watch has been issued, or 48 hours before a storm hits. Check your policy as soon as possible to make sure your coverage is comprehensive.
- How much it costs: You can check the average cost of home insurance in your area on Insurance.com. For the average cost of flood insurance, try QuoteWizard. It sounds counterintuitive, but some of the states that experience the most storms — such as Florida, Maryland, and Texas — have the cheapest flood insurance policies. Florida’s is the lowest, at $550 per year on average.
Hurricane Auto Insurance
- What it is: As with homeowners insurance policies, there is no “hurricane insurance” for cars and trucks that protects against damage caused by hurricanes. Instead, this damage falls under comprehensive auto insurance plans. Comprehensive plans safeguard against theft, vandalism, and extreme weather events.
- When to buy: You must purchase hurricane auto insurance well in advance of a storm warning or naming of a hurricane — usually at least 48 hours prior.
- How much it costs: The cost of comprehensive insurance will vary depending on where you live and the value of your automobile. (Note that it is tied to the current value of the vehicle, not the original value or the cost when you first purchased it.) According to The Zebra, you can expect a comprehensive insurance plan to cost several hundred more dollars per year in premiums. That’s a significant increase, but well worth the price if your car or truck suffers several thousand dollars’ worth of hurricane damage.
Hurricane Travel Insurance
- What it is: When booking a cruise or another vacation, you may have the chance to buy hurricane travel insurance, which protects against changes or cancellations caused by hurricanes. If a hurricane seriously disrupts your travel, you could be reimbursed for your flight, hotel, and other expenses. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as getting a refund for your trip because meteorologists are calling for nasty weather. Your arrival must be delayed by a day or more, or you must be forced to evacuate your hotel, or an airport or major road must be closed. Importantly, you aren’t owed a refund because of potential disruptions — only disruptions that have already occurred.
- When to buy: You must purchase hurricane travel insurance 24+ hours prior to a storm warning or naming of the hurricane. If you think there’s a significant risk of your vacation being delayed by a tropical storm, it’s probably worth buying hurricane travel insurance when you book the trip.
- How much it costs: Prices vary of course, but generally speaking, travel insurance will cost between 4-8% of the total cost of the trip.
Hurricane Boat Insurance
- What it is: Many boat insurance policies include coverage for wind and flood damage, the two main components of hurricane damage. That said, in areas that are at a higher risk of hurricanes, insurance policies are less likely to offer reimbursement for these losses. If your area is vulnerable to tropical storms, it’s critical that you check your policy to see what it does and does not cover. Some insurance companies offer an option to reimburse you for some of the cost of towing your boat away from an area before it’s hit by a storm. These policies may also compensate you for the cost of strapping your boat down, or for relaunching it after the storm.
- When to buy: For most boat insurance policies, to be reimbursed for damage that occurred during a hurricane, you must have purchased the policy at least 30 days prior to the storm. This is to prevent last-minute buys that occur after a storm is already on its way.
- How much it costs: The cost of boat insurance varies depending on where you live, as well as the size and value of your boat (e.g., insuring a yacht will cost a lot more than insuring a small fishing boat). The annual cost can range from under $200 to over $1,000 per year. For at least one insurance company, Florida had the highest average annual rate in 2017, at $495, while Wisconsin had the lowest, at $188.