The Hazards of Summer

So summer is finally here. Sun showers are drizzling raindrops and rainbows; the sky is warm and golden and the children are off to frolic and play. Of course, for me — the insurance lawyer — it’s more like: “Holy hurricane season! The floods are coming, the hurricanes are howling and the carpool kamikazes are ready to start smacking up BMW’s up and down Dixie Highway as the race to be first in the camp pick-up line commences. Yup, summer is sure busy for us lawyers.

Well, here’s how to cover your self for a few of those summer “hazards”:

1) Hurricanes – Many of us are still trying to repair and recover from Hurricane Irma only to hear that as of June 1 hurricane season is back. Check your policy to verify that it lists coverage for windstorms. Some plans (particularly some condominium policies) exclude payment for windstorm damage. So check with you insurance agent and have the agent email you confirmation that you’re insured for windstorms.

2) Flood and mold coverage – These are actually two separate coverages. Flood insurance is its own policy that covers you for damage caused by rising water (such as a river overflowing or storm surge) – it does not generally cover things like broken pipes and damaged/leaking roofs. Those claims require a different policy called homeowner’s insurance, which will typically cover water damage losses. Also remember that many policies now have a limit or exclusion for mold requiring you to secure additional coverage or another policy if you want full coverage for damage from mold.

3) Car Accidents – 2,000 daycampers, a single pick-up and karate lessons at 4:10 sharp – it’s a recipe for car crashes. Verify that your vehicle has liability coverage (to protect you against injury claims of others); comprehensive and collision coverage (to insure your own vehicle for claims of theft, fire or collision damage); and uninsured motorist coverage (to cover your injuries if an at-fault driver doesn’t carry enough insurance).

These are all optional coverages that make sense. You may not be ready for the summer madness but at least you can be insured for it!

Russel Lazega is an attorney and author of two of Florida’s most widely- distributed legal textbooks on Florida Insurance Law. He also represents storm victims and consumers at war with their insurance companies and is based in North Miami, Dania Beach, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Questions? Contact: Russ@fladvocates.com.


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