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Flanked by Pennsylvania and the Atlantic Ocean, the state of New Jersey has a lot to thank its location for. Its proximity to the Northeast megalopolis — Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston —has made it possible for the Garden State to live up to its motto: Liberty and Prosperity. Since the 1950s, New Jersey has been enjoying progress and affluence primarily ushered in by its thriving economy. Despite being one of the geographically smallest states and having the highest population density in the country, New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the US.
However, time has proven that New Jersey’s seemingly perfect and strategic location is a double-edged sword. In 1962, a 3-day coastal storm ravaged the state. It took lives, decimated homes, and piled up debris in its wake. Three decades later, another coastal storm hit New Jersey and although the damage is less compared to its predecessor, it brought immeasurable pain and distress to those affected.
Although the state’s proactive and preventive efforts are commendable, still, there’s no telling when a coastal disaster will strike again. Therefore, it’s best for every home and property owner in New Jersey to be prepared.
Having coastal property insurance is a must for every New Jerseyan. With the Atlantic Ocean practically a stone’s throw away, it’s essential that every property—whether it’s a home or a commercial establishment— has an adequate NJ coastal property insurance coverage.
Whether you’re born and raised in NJ or a modern-day settler, you need to have a working knowledge on the coastal hazards that threaten the state. Although you don’t need to know all the nitty-gritty details of each one, knowing the basics will help you determine the right amount of coverage you need once you decide to get coastal property insurance in New Jersey.
There are four major hazards that threaten the coast of New Jersey. Here’s a fast and simple definition for each one:
Unfortunately, New Jersey is greatly susceptible to northeasters and flooding is often a direct result of heavy rainfall and strong winds brought by storms, hurricanes, and low-pressure. Flood hazards include standing water, high-velocity floodwaters, and waterborne debris and each could easily cost you your property.
Beautiful boardwalks, amusement parks, bars, and of course, stunning beaches are the first things most people think about when they hear something about New Jersey. However, when strong storms pound New Jersey, these images are easily swept away by the waves that hammer the Garden State’s coastline. And just like flood hazards, wave hazards make coastal property insurance indispensable.
The wind whistling in your ear is a friendly thought; but when it comes huffing and puffing brought on by storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes, it becomes formidable. It can effortlessly pry the roof from your house, topple down walls and trees, cause power outages, and even deaths.
And although having NJ coastal property insurance can’t physically shield you from all of these, it can financially support you once the storm is literally over.
Coastal erosion is defined by its rate, hence the terms: short-term and long-term.
Short-term erosion is the rapid wearing away of the coastline caused by storms and floods. On the other hand, long-term erosion is a slow, bit-by-bit recession of the coastline over time. Nonetheless, both should be covered by your coastal property insurance in NJ.
On paper, these hazards don’t sound too scary or threatening but a quick look at the aftermath pictures of Hurricane Katrina or Tropical Storm Irene is enough to put fear in anyone’s heart and instil the importance of having insurance.
Getting coastal property insurance in New Jersey is not as simple as walking into the first New Jersey coastal property insurance agency you find, hastily signing some papers and forgetting about it. Take note: Every insurance, regardless of the type, is an investment. So, make sure that you’ll get your money’s worth.
In buying coastal property insurance, especially for your home, your insurance agency must possess these qualities:
Whether you’re visiting their office or just calling over the phone, take note of their professional manner. Are they polite and accommodating? Are they patient in answering questions? Do they offer helpful suggestions? And most importantly, do they make you feel comfortable?
It’s important that the NJ coastal property insurance agency you work with strives to foster a friendly, professional relationship with their clients. This means being polite, patient and responsive. You have all the right to expect this from your insurance provider. After all, they are asking you to trust them with your money, right?
When it comes to coastal property insurance in New Jersey, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all. If your insurance agent insists on offering you a pre-set, pre-determined coverage, say “No” and find another. Look for one that offers a thorough, efficient, and detailed analysis of your property’s needs.
There’s no time to waste in purchasing coastal property insurance in NJ. The earlier you have one, the better. Once you’ve determined the amount of coverage you need and finalized all the details, you’re New Jersey coastal property insurance agent must get the paperwork done as soon as possible.
One of the worst things that could happen to you as a policy holder is filing a claim on your insurance and then getting rejected—unreasonably and unjustly. Sadly, this is an ugly side of the industry you need to protect yourself from. That’s why, it’s crucial that you only team up with a trustworthy agency. Do your research first; get honest feedback; and learn about the agency as much as you can before signing a contract.
The insurance company you sign up with will primarily be responsible in getting you through financially after a disaster strikes. So you need to be sure that they’ll keep their end of the bargain once that happens. Use this as a checklist in finding your New Jersey coastal property insurance provider.
When Mother Nature unleashes her fury on the coast, we all know what happens. The shoreline recedes in terror, trees are toppled, and structures are reduced into piles of splinters. And if your house happens to be in the area, well, just your luck, isn’t it?
Although there’s nothing you can do to save your house from damages once Mother Nature sets her sights on your location, you can get your coastal home insured to help you stand on your feet once her anger subsides and the sun smiles again.
Here are pointers every coastal homeowner in New Jersey needs to know:
Don’t wait for the weatherman to send you scrambling for coastal homeowners insurance. Insurance agencies won’t allow you to purchase one if a storm or hurricane is already headed your way. The best time to buy coastal property insurance is when the weather is still good and probably just a few moments after you buy your property.
A lot of homeowners make the mistake keeping themselves in the dark when it comes to their New Jersey coastal home insurance. It’s very important for homeowners to know what their insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t. Knowing this information is crucial once filing a claim becomes inevitable. So invest some time in effort in your insurance policy. Read and understand every word and don’t forget to scrutinize the fine print.
Out of all the coastal hazards, flood is probably the most destructive. So, pay special attention to this part of your New Jersey Coastal Homeowners Insurance. Probe for every detail and make sure that your insurance policy got you adequately covered.
This is as simple as paying your premiums on time. You wouldn’t want your claim to be rejected just because you missed a payment, would you? If you are the forgetful type, find a fool-proof way that will keep you reminded. Be creative. Tape a reminder on your fridge, set an alarm for it on your phone or computer, or find someone who’s willing to remind you before every payment schedule.
Take note: One of paper’s biggest enemies aside from fire is water. So keep those papers safe. Don’t leave them lying around the house or in some feeble storage bin where water can easily creep in. An easy way to make it waterproof is to put it in a large zipper storage bag and putting it in a safe. This advice goes for all your important documents. And in case you need to relocate for safety, you can quickly pick it up and go.
An insurance policy is a contract between two entities: in this case, you and your insurance provider. Do your part well. Review your policy periodically, keep up with payments, and secure your documents.
A coastal home is a dream for most people. Waking up to sound of waves lapping on the shore, catching a whiff of sea breeze right inside the living room, and always having the option to spend the day swimming, walking or lounging on the beach are just a few of the perks that come with it.
However, owning a coastal home is not all about sunshine and blissful comfort, especially in New Jersey. Yes, New Jersey’s coastline is beautiful; but with the frequency and severity of coastal storms in this state, no amount of landscaping, boarding up windows, and seawall installation will keep your home 100% unscathed. For this reason, coastal home insurance in NJ is generally expensive and sometimes, even hard to come by.
Let’s face it. The insurance industry is still all about business. If it losses more than it makes profits, it will cut down its liabilities. And some agencies see coastal home insurance in New Jersey just like that—a huge liability.
It’s no wonder why New Jerseyans are having a hard time insuring their coastal homes. Some agencies are pulling out and those who stay to brave the risks has more leeway to increase their prices.
But here are some tips to help you save on your NJ coastal home insurance:
If you can afford it, do it. This will greatly lower your premiums and help you cut back on insurance costs.
More often than not, getting all your insurance from one source helps. If you bundle your auto, health, life, and coastal home insurance in one, there’s a good chance that your NJ coastal property insurance agent will offer you better rates.
Most people make the mistake of thinking that their insurance is for covering their home’s market value. That’s wrong. The insurance is for replacement cost—a monetary value you need to know as a homeowner.
This may sound like a no-brainer but you’ll never know, right? Some insurance agencies offer discounts based on a lot of things like age and location. So, ask your insurance agent if there’s one you can avail of.
Coastal property insurance in NJ is inarguably expensive; however, it is a necessity. New Jersey is a beautiful state but it is constantly threatened by natural hazards: storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and soil erosion. And although the New Jersey state government is doing all it can to implement coastal hazard mitigation measures—beach nourishment, land use regulation, elevation of structures, proper siting, installation of shore protection structures, and development of new and innovative shoreline stabilization techniques —it’s still a long way to go before New Jersey develops a strong resistance against the damages of these hazards. At present, NJ is still vulnerable and it’s every New Jerseyan’s responsibility to insure their property.