Hurricane season in Hawaii starts June 1 and ends November 30. If you have a homeowners insurance policy, you may think you’re covered for hurricane wind and flood damage. Unfortunately, you may not be.
First Insurance Company of Hawaii is sounding an alert prior to the beginning of hurricane season: Homeowners need three policies (homeowners, hurricane and flood) to properly cover their home for flood and wind events.
Hurricane insurance comes into play when a Hurricane Watch or Warning is declared by the National Weather Service (NWS) in anticipation of tropical storm force winds reaching a specific area. If you do not have a hurricane policy, you would have no basis for a claim for wind or wind-driven rain damage caused during the storm and up to 72 hours after the Hurricane Watch or Warning is cancelled by the NWS. Although not legally required in Hawaii, hurricane insurance is a worthwhile investment and is available through many local insurance companies, including First Insurance.
Additionally, neither hurricane nor homeowners insurance covers water damage caused by tidal surges, overflowing bodies of water or flash floods, whether associated with a storm or not. You need flood insurance for these hazards. Not in an official flood zone? Recent history in Hawaii shows that flood damage often happens outside flood zones.
Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), established by Congress in 1968. First Insurance is Hawaii’s largest writer of flood insurance through the NFIP.
Keep in mind that most insurance carriers issue “moratoriums” when a tropical storm is approaching our islands. A moratorium effectively blocks a carrier from writing new business. You don’t want to be caught with no coverage or too little coverage before a hurricane hits because by then it could already be too late to secure the insurance you need.
For further information on homeowners, hurricane or flood insurance insurance coverage, talk to your independent agent or visit www.ficoh.com.
First Insurance Company of Hawaii
Founded in 1911, First Insurance Company of Hawaii, Ltd. is the oldest and largest property and casualty insurer domiciled in Hawaii, with assets of $677.8 million, liabilities of $387.6 million, and policyholders’ surplus of $280.1 million as of December 31, 2018.
First Insurance, a member of the Tokio Marine North America (TMNA) group of companies, enjoys an “A+” rating from A.M. Best Co.
Proud of its broadly experienced, service-oriented staff, First Insurance employs more than 350 insurance professionals and distributes its products through 26 independent general agencies. First Insurance was named 2018 Kupuna Advocate of the Year by Hawaii Meals on Wheels (HMOW) for its exemplary support of HMOW and other organizations that serve seniors. It was also awarded the American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Gold Achievement for 2018.