June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 1. Most residents of New York state understand how important it is to insure their houses and property in the event of a loss. This protection has become even more important since last year, when New York experienced earthquakes, severe rainstorms and even the effects of tropical storms Irene and Lee.
As a professional insurance agent and a member of the Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc., I understand how important it is that policyholders know that not all homeowners insurance policies are the same.
This is especially so with storm coverage. Right now, a standard definition of the conditions (e.g., amount of rainfall, strength of winds, etc.) that need to occur to trigger a homeowners policy's windstorm deductible does not exist. So, if two houses on the same street suffer damage in the same storm, there's a good chance one homeowner may be responsible for paying substantially more out-of-pocket expenses under his or her insurance policy, while the other is not.
New York state desperately needs reasonable standards for hurricane deductible triggers like most of the states that surround us do. The state Assembly approved a bill (A.3283-A) that would do this earlier this year. We urge homeowners to contact their state senators and ask them to pass this important legislation today.
LEWIS L. WILSON, CIC, CPCU, CPIA