Flooding from Hurricane Florence is a reminder of the dangers of being underinsured

By Marian Johns | | Sep 24, 2018

Of the 7 million homes in the Carolinas, only 5 percent were covered by the Federal Flood Insurance Program.   File photo

Just as homeowners in the Carolinas are still feeling the effects of flooding from Hurricane Florence's punch to those two states, a recent study by Consumer Reports shows that 60 percent of all homes in the U.S. are underinsured by 20 percent. 

Unfortunately, a very small percentage of homes in the Carolinas had flood insurance, and according to a recent CNN report, of the 7 million homes in the Carolinas, only 5 percent in those states were covered by the Federal Flood Insurance Program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

So how can a homeowner make sure they are not underinsured? Kin Insurance director of insurance product management Kevin Turner says one way is to have replacement cost as part of your coverage. 

"Make sure you have replacement cost coverage for both your house and your belongings," Turner said. "It usually pays up to 25 percent beyond regular limits to cover the increased cost of labor and materials in the wake of widespread disaster."

Turner noted that replacement cost value of the home may be more than the home's purchase price or current market value.

"It accounts for inflation and the unexpected costs that arise when you must rebuild from the ground up after a disaster," he said. 

Turner said the best way for a homeowner to decide on the type of coverage they need is to make sure you have a quality policy. 

"A quality home insurance policy offers coverage for your dwelling, other structures on the property, personal belongings, additional living expenses, personal liability and medical payments," Turner said. "An agent can help you decide if you need other endorsements (add-on coverage) to address unique property needs or risks."

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