This is a guest blog post from Jillian Dohack, a local short sale specialist in Fort Myers.

When a Tropical Storm or Hurricane is on track to come for a visit, we tend to start thinking, "What If?" One of the questions that can come to mind is "Am I covered for insurance to protect my home and other investment properties?"

What a lot of people do not know is once a Hurricane or Tropical Storm threatens our area, insurance companies go under what is called "Binding Restriction. “This means, you are unable to get "last minute" insurance coverage, just because a storm may hit our area. This can cause delay in closings, as the lenders require insurance to be in place before the closing takes place as one of their requirements.

Did you also know that if you choose to purchase flood insurance "because the storm is coming" the government will not allow you to cancel it even after the storm safely exits the Florida radius?

Also, typically, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it's important to buy flood insurance before the floodwaters start to rise. As severe weather approaches in our area, most insurance carriers ask that no new coverage or increases in coverage be bound during the period that a hurricane or tornado watch or warning has been issued by the National Weather Service. This restriction on binding applies to the area threatened by the storm.

The terms “Storm Watch” or “Storm Warning” are defined by the U.S. Weather Services as:

  • Storm Watch: A storm in all likelihood will hit the area. While the storm may be some distance away, all of the contributing factors indicate the storm will hit the area.
  • Storm Warning: A storm is imminent. All Personal Lines business is covered by this restriction (including Homeowners, Inland Marine, Personal Fire and Automobile).

Exceptions are permitted where an insured is:

  • Replacing an automobile on an existing policy
  • Making settlement on property previously contracted under an agreement of sale.

Here at Winged Foot Title we care about educating our customers in all areas of their transactions. We hope this information is useful in your future purchases and sales with our team!

Wishing you a safe Hurricane season in sunny Florida!