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Understanding if hurricane damage is covered under homeowners insurance

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

Homeowners insurance or home insurance is a type of property insurance which covers a private home. Its coverage includes damages and losses in a person’s home and assets in the home. It also covers accidents in a property or home.

What kinds of damages and losses does a homeowners insurance cover? Before getting home insurance, you must first learn and understand what types of damages and losses the insurance you are getting for your home covers. Does it cover damages caused by natural calamities? What kinds of natural calamities? What about incidents which damage your home due to accidents? 

It is important that you ask about the details of home insurance so you will know when you can and cannot claim in case something happens to your home. 

Home Insurance Claims For Hurricane Damage

Does your home insurance include hurricane coverage? If you live in an area which is a possible path for hurricanes, you must make sure and understand that the home insurance you are getting includes hurricane coverage.

Hurricane insurance is one important detail which you must look into when getting home insurance if you live in a place which is frequently visited by hurricanes. Most homeowners insurance include hurricane coverage. There are two factors which insurance companies look into when policyholders claim for hurricane coverage.  

In cases where the homeowners insurance you have does include hurricane insurance, the insurer looks into the causes of the damage. Damage by hurricanes may be caused by two factors: flood and windstorm.

Windstorm Coverage

For coastal states, most insurance companies require separate windstorm coverage to lessen risks. If your home is damaged by a hurricane, windstorm coverage has percentage deductibles rather than fixed dollar amount deductibles. If your home insurance does include windstorm coverage, its claim may be limited.

Flood Coverage

Homeowners insurance usually does not have flood coverage. If a homeowner wants to have flood insurance, he must avail of it separately. But if the flooding is caused by damaged plumbing due to the hurricane, then it may be covered by your home insurance.

Situations Where Homeowner Insurance Covers Hurricanes

Homeowners insurance generally does not cover damages caused by hurricanes. If it is due to windstorm or flooding, you must have separate insurance for it so you can claim for the damages. But there are situations where homeowners insurance can cover damages caused by hurricanes.

Sewer Backup

Sewer backup may be added to your policy. Usually, it is not included in your home insurance, but you can make endorsements for it. In cases where sewer backup is caused by heavy rainfall due to a hurricane, it would be best if you had a sewer backup and flood coverage for it.

Wind

Just like a flood, the wind is not covered by home insurance if it is caused by a hurricane. But you can get separate coverage for it, especially if you are living in an area where hurricanes are frequently happening. 

But if the damage to your house is caused by strong winds alone, then it may be covered by your homeowners insurance. An important point to remember, study and understand your insurance documents properly. If you think you do not understand it, you can always ask your insurance agent to explain it to you in words you can comprehend.

Evacuation

Evacuation means relocating temporarily. This usually happens if you and your home is threatened by a coming hurricane. Expenses incurred during the temporary relocation is not covered by homeowners insurance. But upon returning to your home, and you found out you cannot live in it, then your home insurance can cover the expenses of your living elsewhere. Your insurance policy has an additional living expenses portion. This is what the insurer will use to pay for your temporary stay in a hotel and other expenses incurred by living elsewhere.

Water Damage

Homeowners insurance cover water damage. But it must be due to a burst pipe, or rain coming through a window damaged by debris. For flooding due to a hurricane, you have to make sure you have a separate wind and flooding coverage so the damages may be covered by your insurance policy.

Important Things To Remember When Getting A Homeowners Insurance

It is a must for every homeowner to get home insurance. But this not means you just go to an insurance company or an agent and buy a homeowners insurance outright. 

A homeowner must be careful and meticulous when choosing a homeowners insurance to get. There are some very important things a homeowner must remember when doing this:

Understand Your Insurance Policy

Know about what is included and what is not in your homeowners insurance policy coverage. Especially the exclusions page. Read and understand about what is excluded from your house insurance coverage.

Hurricane Deductibles May Be Expensive

Hurricane deductibles may range from 1% to 5% of the insured value of the structure of the home. This amount will be paid out of a home insurance policy holder’s pocket. Not everybody can afford to pay for hurricane deductibles. If this is the case, it is recommended that you talk with the insurance company and ask for options.

There are four main categories in a standard homeowners insurance policy coverage. These categories are :

  • The structure of the home – this refers to the dwelling place
  • Personal property – personal assets like your belongings and everything inside your home
  • Detached units – are structures separate from the dwelling place like a shed or a garage
  • Living expenses – a homeowners insurance must cover living expenses. This happens when you are displaced. If your home is damaged, and it is not fit to live in at the moment, your insurance can cover expenses incurred while you are staying somewhere else or pay for your temporary stay in a hotel

Flood Insurance

standard homeowners insurance does not normally cover flood, even those caused by hurricanes.

For Condominiums And Renters, A Special Coverage Is Needed

In this case, legal advice is needed. You can consult the condominium association’s attorney or the property management company. They can advise and guide you on what insurance policy to get.

If you are in a hurricane-prone area, it is advisable that you insure your home. But do not get just any home insurance. Make sure you know everything about the insurance coverage, especially its exclusions. Note: If you find homeowners insurance hard to understand, ask the help of an insurance agent or somebody who is knowledgeable about it.

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