In Wake of Hurricane Irene, Time to Check Your New Jersey Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Hurricane Irene left a lot of destruction in its wake, and many New Jersey homeowners have been left without power and with severe flooding. The high winds and heavy downpours have even put some homes under water and destroyed a lot of personal property. Whether your home was affected by Hurricane Irene or not, now is a good time to take a look at the coverages included in your New Jersey homeowner’s insurance policy.

The basic coverages within a New Jersey homeowner’s policy include the following:

  • Dwelling Coverage: This covers damage to your house and other buildings on your property like detached garages, barns, storage sheds, etc. These buildings are generally covered for loss due to calamities such as fire and heavy winds.
  • Personal Property: This covers items like furniture, clothing, appliances, etc usually up to 75% of the amount of your dwelling coverage. For specific items of high value like expensive jewelry, an additional rider might be necessary.
  • Liability: This protects you against someone else getting injured on your property. For example, if you had a visitor in the winter that slipped on some ice and injured themselves, your liability coverage may pay for their medical expenses and other losses incurred.
  • Loss of Use Coverage: Section of your New Jersey homeowner’s insurance policy that pays your expenses if your home is damaged by a covered loss and is not livable. Typical expenses paid may be part of the cost of temporary housing while the home is being repaired.

Are hurricanes covered in my New Jersey homeowner’s insurance policy? 
That depends on your individual circumstance and what additional coverages you opted for ahead of time. For example, if your home was damaged because of high winds, then you would be covered under your basic policy. However, if your home was flooded due to the heavy rains that accompanied the hurricane and the wind had very little to do with it, then you would not be covered under a basic NJ homeowner insurance policy.

Flood insurance needs to be purchased separately from through your agent and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at least 30 days prior to flood damage occurring on your property. However, if you don’t have flood insurance and your home was severely damaged due to flooding, there is still a chance you may be eligible for federal emergency disaster relief. As always, it is best to speak with your agent to learn more the details about your particular situation.

If you have any questions about your current coverage, please contact us at (201) 493-9002.