May 23, 2013
Vivian D. Laxton, 410-468-2007
Director, Public Affairs


June 1 marks the start of hurricane season, and now is the time to review your homeowners insurance policy. A natural disaster doesn’t have to turn into an insurance disaster. According to the Maryland Insurance Administration, it pays to know what your policy covers, and what it excludes, if your property is damaged.

Hurricane forecasters expect an active season this year. Last year 19 named storms formed in the Atlantic Ocean. Don’t wait for a major storm to roll through to review your policy. Find out if your policy has special deductibles or limitations associated with this type of storm claim. Now is the time to prepare so you won’t be caught off guard should your home be damaged by a storm this hurricane season.

Super Storm Sandy, and Tropical Storm Isabel before her, taught many people that damage from flooding is not covered under most homeowners insurance policies. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program and some private insurers. Generally, there is a 30-day waiting period before new policies take effect. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides useful information to help homeowners reduce the financial impact of flooding.

During National Hurricane Preparedness Week, which runs May 26 through June 1, Insurance Commissioner Therese M. Goldsmith encourages all Marylanders to read their insurance policies carefully. The Maryland Insurance Administration offers guides and general information about insurance coverage at community outreach events and online. Your insurance agent can help to explain specifically what is covered by your policy and what is not.

Some ways to prepare for disaster include:

  • Inventory your home. Whenever possible, take photos or videos to support any claim you may need to file later. Smart phone users can download a free home inventory application, myHOME, from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
  • Determine if your home is insured to its full replacement cost.
  • Keep your policy information in a waterproof, fireproof safe or off-site, such as in a safe deposit box, or scan it and save it to a flash drive that you keep in an emergency kit.
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance. Depending on where you live, coverage can be as low as $129 a year. Visit or call 1-888-379-9531 for more information.

Click here for more information on how to prepare for hurricane season. You also can find information on the Maryland Insurance Administration’s Facebook page,


Maryland Insurance Commissioner Goldsmith and Governor O'Malley survey damage and 
visit with homeowners in Southern Maryland following Irene.



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