Everything you need to know for the 2013 hurricane season

Understanding Hurricane Insurance Coverage

Local experts advise homeowners to understand their policies before a storm hits

By Donna Rapado
|  Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012  |  Updated 8:42 PM EDT
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Though Tropical Storm Isaac’s trajectory is still uncertain, forecasters say South Florida remains in the five-day “cone” of the storm. Local experts tell NBC 6 it’s a good time as any to understand how and what your homeowner’s insurance covers. Insurance litigation attorney Russell Lazega says your best friend right now is your phone.

Though Tropical Storm Isaac’s trajectory is still uncertain, forecasters say South Florida remains in the five-day “cone” of the storm. Local experts tell NBC 6 it’s a good time as any to understand how and what your homeowner’s insurance covers. Insurance litigation attorney Russell Lazega says your best friend right now is your phone.

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Photos and Videos

Hurricane Ready: Miami-Dade County Emergency Plan

Miami-Dade County got ready for the potential of Tropical Storm Isaac Wednesday. At the county Emergency Operations Center, Chip Iglesias and Fire Chief Shorty Bryson spoke about the storm. Curt Sommerhoff told NBC 6 South Florida that more of the private sector will have generators this hurricane season.

Hurricane Ready: Broward County Emergency Plan

NBC 6 South Florida's Diana Gonzalez reports on the scene Wednesday at the Broward County Emergency Operations Center, which was last activated for a major storm for Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The staff, including Chuck Lanza, Bob Humple and Michael Ascarrunz, was monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac on Wednesday.
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Though Tropical Storm Isaac’s trajectory is still uncertain, forecasters say South Florida remains in the five-day “cone” of the storm.

Local experts tell NBC 6 it’s a good time as any to understand how and what your homeowner’s insurance covers.

Insurance litigation attorney Russell Lazega says your best friend right now is your phone.

“First call your agent, because typically you can't update your policy or add to your policy within three days of the storm or within two sectors of this area,” Lazega said. “We're close now, so folks out there if they take the time and hurry now they can check to see that they have both wind and flood coverage.”

Both require individual policies, separate from your homeowner’s insurance.

Planning for Hurricane Season

“Also what your phone can help you with as well is go around and take pictures of your home and your inventory. Know what you have, document it with photographs and you can save them. a great resource to help you in the event of a claim,” Lazega said.

Lazega points out the biggest mistake people make is not checking your coverage - on time or at all.

He also recommends you make sure you have law and ordinance coverage.

“Gives you funds to bring your home back to the current condition to bring it back to code. So if you have an older home it may cost $80,000 but cost you $300,000 to rebuild that home to the current code. So it's very important to check that with your agent,” Lazega said.

The state activates a special helpline whenever a tropical storm or hurricane aims at Florida: 1-800-22-STORM. You can get help at that number on any insurance issue.

Hurricane Guide 2012

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