Do You Need to Buy Coastal Home Insurance in New Jersey?

Owning a piece of beach property is a dream come true for lots of people. Unfortunately, that dream can come with the reality of hurricanes, floods, storms, and other hazards. To protect your home, you need to make sure that you have homeowners insurance that is designed for coastal areas.

What is Coastal Homeowners Insurance?

The standard homeowners’ insurance is usually comprehensive enough to cover most of the incidents that can happen to a regular property, such as fire, theft, fallen tree branches, and so on. However, coastal homes have more specific insurance needs that standard home insurance might not be able to provide. A lot of insurance carriers don’t offer standard homeowner’s insurance to coastal homes because of the much higher risk of storms and flooding.

If you live within five miles of the coast, coastal homeowners insurance can provide additional coverage for the higher risks you face living near water. This insurance can fill the gaps that aren’t covered by standard homeowners’ insurance. A policy like this usually separates wind, named storms, and hurricanes. These events will each have their own deductibles, which are a flat fee or between 1-5% of the value of the property.

It excludes flood insurance, even with a named-storm deductible. This means that if your home is damaged by flooding, your insurance won’t cover it. You will need to buy additional flood insurance to protect your coastal property from the increased risk of flooding. Your mortgage lender will usually require you to hold flood insurance if you live in a flood zone.

How is Coastal Homeowners Insurance Different From Standard Homeowners?

Homeowner’s insurance for a coastal property is basically standard insurance, with a few important differences. Coastal homes are a greater risk, so insurers remove some privileges of standard home insurance, like coverage for winds and storms. Your insurer doesn’t want to take on the extra risk of a beach property.

Coastal homeowners insurance will reinstate that coverage to make sure you are protected from storms, weather, or hazards. As your home is more prone to these risks, you need insurance that will best address these hazards with proper coverage limits and fair premiums. Coastal home insurance is designed to fill these gaps and raise the coverage.

Tips for Homeowners’ Insurance in Coastal Areas

Get Insured Before Hurricane Season

Insurance and flood policies usually take at least 30 days to activate. Insurance providers won’t offer new insurance policies if there is a storm expected. This is why you need to get fully insured before the storm is a threat.

Remember that there is no safe time for your home, so always have insurance to protect against possible hazards. Don’t reduce or lapse in your coverage over the winter just because it isn’t hurricane season. Every season comes with risks, so you need insurance coverage all year round.

Never let your coverage lapse. Pay your bills on time and don’t let your policy expire. One missed payment could drive up your premiums considerably.

Pick the Right Deductibles

Homeowners’ insurance for coastal homes will usually have multiple deductibles for different areas of your policy, such as deductibles for wind, named storms, and hurricanes. A deductible is how much you will be responsible for out of pocket before your insurance will cover the rest, up to your coverage limits.

Remember that if you are hit by more than one storm in succession, then you will be responsible for the expense of the deductible per storm. In a stormy season, you will incur this expense multiple times. You need to make sure your deductible is fair, and low enough for you to pay out of pocket a few times over.

Speak to Rosell Agency to learn more about flood insurance options.

Know Your Coverage

A coastal home will have a different policy from a standard homeowners policy. Check your plan to see what kind of coverage you have, your deductibles, and where there might be a lapse in your coverage, such as flood damage.

Don’t try to go it alone or go with an agent that you don’t trust, or you could end up under-insured for the unique risks that come with a beach home. Speak to an insurance agent to help you go through different policies to make sure that you have all the coverage that you might need for a beach-front home at a reasonable price.

Get Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is essential for coastal homes. Flooding is common along the coast, whether from storms, large waves, or a pipe breaking.

Coastal areas are considered high-risk flood zones, which means you need flood insurance, even if your lender doesn’t require it. Without flood coverage, a flood can be devastating. Just a few inches of water can do thousands of dollars of damage to the structure of your home, your furniture, or your foundations. Flood insurance is the best way to make sure your finances don’t take a dramatic hit.

Ask About Discounts

Homeowners’ insurance for a coastal property is usually more expensive than standard insurance, because of the increased risks. Despite the cost, you want to make sure that you’re not skimping on all the coverage that you need just because of the price tag. Ask your insurance agent for help with finding out what discounts could apply to your coastal homeowners’ insurance, so you can be protected fully.

The biggest discounts usually come from home safety features, such as flood-proofing your foundation or adding hurricane shutters to your windows. You could also get a discount by signing up for email bills or auto-paying them. It’s always a good idea to look for discounts that you could qualify for.

Searching for a bargain on your homeowners’ insurance could, however, mean that you are underpaid or not paid at all, if a disaster happens in your home, like a storm. Don’t take the risk with your home or your belongings. Get full coverage secured first and then ask about discounts and ways to save.