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Does Home Insurance Cover Storm Damage?

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Storm damage can be a tricky one in terms of whether it is covered by a standard home insurance policy or not. Some types of storm damage are covered while others are not. Some effects of a storm will be covered while others will not. It is important for a homeowner to understand exactly what protection their policy provides and what may be excluded from coverage.

Key facts
  • Storm damage caused by perils such as wind and hail, water and ice, or lightning will normally be covered under a standard home insurance policy.
  • Storm damage caused by perils such as earthquakes and flooding will not normally be covered under a standard home insurance policy.
  • Additional coverages such as sump pump coverage can be purchased to further protect homeowners from storm related damage.

What types of storm damage does a home insurance policy cover?

There are three common types of storm damage that are usually covered under a standard home insurance policy: fire, lightning, water, snow, ice, wind, and hail. Storms that cause the sorts of damages listed are almost always protected by a homeowner’s policy.

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Fire and lightning

If lightning strikes your home directly and damages your home or strikes nearby and causes a fire to breakout and cause damage to your home, you will more than likely be covered with your home insurance policy. Even the most basic of home insurance policies cover this type of damage. The one exception to this may be in areas of the country where wildfires are common. Some insurers may specifically exclude damage caused by wildfires from a standard policy, in which case a wildfire endorsement or separate policy would nee to be purchased to protect the homeowner from this damage. Make sure to read through your policy to understand exactly what you are covered for.

Power surges would also fall under this category and are typically covered by standard home insurance policies. Power surges may be the result of a lightning strike and can cause extensive damage to a homeowners appliances and electronics. There are some instances where a power surge may not be covered, for instance when a power surge is caused by repairs to a power line that is taking place off the property, but still affects the property.

Water, snow, and ice damage

Water and ice damage or more specifically damage caused by the weight of water and ice, is typically covered under a standard home insurance policy. A major snowstorm may occur that ultimately collapses your roof or a brutal cold spell comes through and causes your pipes to freeze and break, these are just a few example of how this damage occurs and what is covered under a standard homeowners policy. It is extremely important to note that water damage that is due to flooding or gradual water buildup will never be covered under a standard policy. Some insurers may also exclude frozen pipes from coverage as well. HO-1 and HO-2 policies provide less protection to a homeowner than the standard HO-3 policy, which means that water, snow, and ice damage may not be covered under those types of policies. Make sure to understand exactly what you are covered for in your specific policy.

Wind and hail

Major windstorms, which would include hurricanes and tornadoes can cause extensive damage. Hail is also a potentially very costly type of storm damage. Luckily, wind and hail damage is normally covered under a standard home insurance policy. In the vast majority of cases other secondary damage such as a falling tree or another object caused by wind or hail will be covered under a standard policy as well. It is crucial to note that there are many instances where insurers exclude wind or hail damage from coverage. This is most common along the east coast of the U.S. and the “Tornado Alley” of the Midwest. There wind and hail damage is typically excluded from standard home insurance policies, homeowners typically have the option to add-on wind and hail coverage for an additional premium, which also usually comes with a separate and higher deductible than the home insurance policy deductible. Homeowners also usually have the option to purchase a separate wind and hail damage policy, if it is not offered as an endorsement.

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What storm damage is excluded from coverage?

There are two common types of storm damage that are always excluded from coverage under a standard home insurance policy: Earthquakes or other ground movement and flooding.

Earthquake and other ground movement damage

Earthquakes unfortunately are becoming a more and more common peril and source of damage to homes in some parts of the country. This cause of damage is never covered under a standard policy but is almost always available as a separate policy with more earthquake-prone locations having a higher premium than other areas. Check with your insurance agent to see what options are available to you in your area.

Flood damage

Flooding is never covered under a standard home insurance policy even if it is caused by a storm that is covered under policy. Flooding is the most common and one of the most costly damages that occur across the country. Some insurance companies may offer flooding coverage, but most of the time homeowners will have to turn to the National Flood Insurance Program to obtain flood coverage if they wish to. Some mortgage lenders in high-risk flood areas may require a homeowner to purchase flood insurance in order to be granted the home loan.


To answer the question, yes home insurance does cover storm damage, but it depends on the type of storm. Storm damage such as fire and lightning, water, snow, and ice, or wind and hail in most cases will be protected via a homeowners policy whereas storm damage such as earthquakes and flooding will never be covered under a home insurance policy. Each individual situation may be different with one or more of the normally covered types of storm damage being excluded. It is always a good idea to read through your policy to understand what you are protected for in your specific situation.

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Kyle has extensive background in financial planning and financial writing. He is an expert in home, auto and life insurance. Kyle holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University and multiple financial planning designations.
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