2017 Hurricane Season is Here: What Biloxi, MS Homeowners Need to Know About Insurance
As the 2017 hurricane season kicked off for the Biloxi, MS area on June 1, many residents will be stocking up on supplies, checking their shutters, and keeping their eyes on the skies through November 30. According to the ABC-WLOX Weather Center and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this year should produce above normal activity. Experts predict as many as 11-17 named storms, 5-9 of which could transition into hurricanes; four major hurricanes are possible with sustained winds at 111 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, one prep task that many Biloxi residents may overlook is doing a check up on their homeowner’s insurance. Your hurricane season to-do list should also include a few items to make sure there are no surprises when the clouds head our way. It’s also smart to discuss your coverage with a lawyer that has specific experience in insurance law and bad faith insurance rescission matters.
Review Your Current Coverage – NOW
Don’t wait until the National Weather Service announces a tropical depression or storm. The best time to ensure that your homeowner’s insurance coverage is sufficient is well in advance of any weather-related emergency. Keep in mind that things may have changed considerably since the last time you reviewed your policy – or since you originally procured it. If you need to increase your coverage, do it now because it may require 30 days to take effect.
Mississippi’s Hurricane Deductible
Mississippi is one of 19 states that has a hurricane deductible in place, which means you may be responsible for a percentage of the damage due to a storm. Your homeowner’s insurance contract might require you to pay anywhere from 1-5 percent of the total insured value. Make sure you have enough cash on hand to meet the deductible, or arrange a home equity line of credit to cover that amount.
Watch for Telltale Signs of Bad Faith Insurance Rescission
Insurance companies are businesses like any other, so they will make every effort to save on costs – including canceling your insurance coverage if you make a claim under your policy. Mississippi law protects policyholders from bad faith rescission and you do have rights. Look out for cancellation by the insurer that’s based upon allegations that you:
- Filed a fraudulent claim;
- Didn’t pay premiums on time, even if you did;
- Filed a false claim; or
- Made false statements on your insurance application.
Insurance Attorneys Representing the Interests of Biloxi Homeowners
Hurricane preparation doesn’t end with ensuring the physical safety of your home and its contents; it’s also important to review the details of your homeowner’s insurance policy to make certain that you’re covered in the event of a storm. If you do need to file a claim as a policyholder, you have rights with respect to your insurance company. Some unscrupulous insurers may engage in bad faith efforts to rescind your coverage, deny your claim, or offer less than what’s required under your policy. An experienced insurance rescission lawyer can help enforce these rights and make sure you obtain the fair amount you deserve under the law. For more information on rescission and misconduct by insurance companies, please contact attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy Guice in Biloxi, MS today.