Hurricane season is right around the corner and when you think of hurricane preparedness, one usually thinks about making sure they have food and water and other emergency supplies. But we should all review our insurance policies to ensure you are properly covered for this hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs through November 30.

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Checking on your insurance policies should be high on all of our priority lists. You definitely don’t want to find out that you are not properly covered when it’s too late. Tim Johns from Zephyr Insurance joined Take2 to explain the details of how you should take a close look at your insurance policy to be sure that you are properly covered.

With hurricane season quickly approaching, can you tell us more about Zephyr Insurance and what you offer?      

Zephyr Insurance is Hawaii’s leading provider of residential hurricane insurance. Following Hurricane Iniki in 1992, insurance companies refused to sell hurricane insurance coverage to Hawaii homeowners that put them at risk. We are a local company that was established to fill the hurricane insurance void more than 20 years ago. A hurricane has the power to damage not only your home, but your sense of security and financial future. Our mission is to help protect Hawaii residents and their homes during times of disaster.

What does hurricane insurance cover and is it required?

While Hawaii law does not require homeowners to have hurricane insurance, most financial institutions require hurricane insurance as a condition of the loan if your home is mortgaged. Having hurricane insurance means you’ll be reimbursed for your covered losses in the event your home is damaged due to hurricane winds.

If a hurricane comes and its rain floods my house, am I covered or do I need flood insurance too?

We’ve found that there is still a lot of confusion about this. Homeowner’s need to be aware that there are three types of insurance policies they may need to protect their home:

  • Homeowners Insurance: Provides coverage for damage to your house, any permanent structures on your property and personal items.
  • Hurricane Insurance: This is a separate policy that provides coverage for damage to your home that is caused by hurricane winds.
  • Flood Insurance: This is also a separate policy. It provides coverage for damage caused by storm surges, overflowing streams and other types of flowing water.

It’s important to remember that the moment a hurricane watch or warning is issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, there are two major things that happen to your insurance policies – portions of your homeowners insurance shut off and your hurricane insurance is activated. It also means that a moratorium is put in place and we can no longer write new policies. Now is the time to make sure you’re prepared and you have all of the right insurance coverage in place.

Is there a way for Hawaii residents to learn how to check their insurance policies to be sure they are covered if a storm strikes?

“As part of our preparation for Hurricane Season, Zephyr Insurance conducts an annual hurricane claims readiness drill to help prepare our staff, agents and policyholders in the event a hurricane hits the Hawaiian Islands. This year’s hurricane drill will be taking place next week on Kauai at the Hilton Garden Inn.

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We’re inviting Kauai residents to join us on Wed., May 24 to learn more about hurricane preparedness and hear presentations from industry experts, first responders and other government agencies. The event is free and open to the public.  We’ll have vendors, including local insurance agents, and some great door prizes, including gift cards and hurricane preparation kits,” said Johns.

For more information, call at (808) 440-5400. You can also visit Zephyr Insurance’s website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @ZephyrInsurance.