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When Hurricane Andrew struck Florida and Louisiana in 1992, it was the costliest natural disaster in history in terms of insurance payouts, with claims costs of $15.5 billion at the time ($25 billion in 2011 dollars). Today, Andrew is the second costliest U.S. natural disaster, after Hurricane Katrina, which hit in 2005.
Here’s a question from a poll conducted in 2011 by the Insurance Information Institute: Will the government pay for damage to your home that is not covered in your homeowners policy? Percentage of people who said no: 61%. That’s six percentage points more than the 55 percent who said no in 2010, which means people increasingly understand that the role of the federal government is primarily disaster preparedness and response.
Have you had a wind mitigation inspection? This is when a credentialed inspector comes to your home and looks at how it is constructed to assess its ability to stand up to hurricane-force winds. I had my home inspected just a few weeks ago. I was actually looking forward to the inspection, since my insurer paid for it and knowing if the roof over my head would actually stay there is the sort of information I’d like to have.