How Hurricanes Affect Home Sales

hurricane real estateEvery year hurricane season rolls up on us fast and furious.  No the dates don’t change, they are standard from June 1st through November 30th. But, until one is looming or on a path headed our way we seem to “conveniently forget” the ramifications they have in closing on the buying or selling of a home.

Most insurance companies STOP writing and/or binding coverage is a tropical system enters a certain area in the Atlantic Ocean.  Most will also not allow you to alter your coverage at these times, by raising or lowering your policy limits.  At this time, FRONTLINE, one of the newer companies offering wind/hail insurance, suspended issuing policies from Wednesday, August 31st – Tuesday, September 6th, AT THE EARLIEST!  They write a lot in Florida but have been reaching north into South Carolina and North Carolina as well.  So basically what this means is that in order to close you need to have a policy in place on the home you are buying, and when they stop issuing you coverage it will delay the process.  Normally insurance binding is handled towards the end of a transaction, sometimes less than a week prior…. So these dates are critical if a storm is a brewing off the coast of Africa.

With the gulf coast states from Texas to Maine carrying the most risk and bearing most of the brunt of the delays based on these incoming “named storms”.  The named storm does NOT have to be a hurricane. It can be a tropical storm, and it is up to the insurance company as to when they suspend their coverage and when they allow it to be written and or altered again.

Three Suggestion For Anyone Purchasing a Home During Hurricane Season:

  1. Purchase your coverage EARLY in the process.  While you are normally shopping for coverage to see who can get you the best rate, AFTER you have your loan in place, please consider getting your quotes early in the process so that you can actually pinpoint who you want to use during the “due diligence” period.  This is crucial in determining whether you can AFFORD the coverage while you still have time to get out of the deal if you can’t.
  2. Let your mortgager KNOW WHO you will be using as soon as you get your numbers in place.  They aren’t billing you until you close, so what’s the harm in deciding now and giving your lender and your attorney a heads up as to who you want to use.  This is just one less thing to worry about closer to the closing date.
  3. If you are closing soon and haven’t bound your coverage… DO IT NOW!  It will save you, your agent, the sellers and your attorney major heartache to be proactive and secure what you know you will need anyway!

If you are currently SELLING your home, this is something you need to ask your agent to make sure the buyer has done so that it doesn’t slow the closing of your home as well or understand why your closing is delayed in the end.

Kim EndreIf you have any questions about insurance or anything real estate related I welcome you to email me at kim@outerbanksblue.com or contact me directly via text or call at (252) 202-3696.  Whether buying or selling I would love to assist you!