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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Wind Damage?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Wind Damage?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Wind Damage?
Wind damage in Pennsylvania by weather.gov

Wind caused by a storm is one of the perils that a  standard homeowners insurance policy will reimburse under your plan. This is considered to be one of the main risks to a home and carriers will, for the most part, cover it but there are limitations in certain situations. It’s important that you go over your policy to make sure that there are no stipulations when it comes to wind damage in your plan, particularly if you’re in a high-risk area. 

By what extent your home insurance carrier reimburses your wind damage will depend on:

  • The specifics in your policy
  • What areas of your home have suffered loss or damage
  • Your home’s condition and quality
  • The way in which the wind created the damage

Is Wind Damage Covered Under My Plan?

Standard homeowners insurance will cover the structure of your house which will include the siding, roof, and windows. It typically will cover other structures on the property including gazebos, sheds, or fences. 

Roof

The roof is a crucial part of a homeowners plan. Most standard policies will cover roofs for wind damage but the extent of how much they will cover is dependent upon how old the roof is and what type of policy you have. If you have the Actual Cash Value (ACV) type of policy, your coverage is going to be reimburse based on the material that your roof is comprised of and the life span left on the roof at the time of the damage.If the roof is past its expiration date, there will be a denial on the claim and no payout given with the insurer indicating that the wind was able to do such damage because the roof was already in disrepair.

If you have Replacement Cost Value (RCV), the carrier will pay out the repair for the roof completely once the deductible is met with no deduction for depreciation.

Siding

Wind damage that occurs to the outside portion of your home will reimburse dependent upon what type of siding is on your home with vinyl and aluminum being the most popular. Generally, these are both covered under the wind damage portion of standard homeowners. If there are only cosmetic issues such as chipped paint or minor damages, it is recommended that you try to resist putting in a claim as it wouldn’t be worth the deductible and would raise your premiums.

External structures

All other structures on your premises should be covered under the standard home insurance plan for wind damage including sheds, gazebos, garages, workshops. The amount that will be covered will be dependent on the limits of your policy. For other structure coverage, the payout is typically 10% of the value of your policy.

Windows

Any broken windows will be covered by your standard homeowners coverage due to wind damage.

Fencing

If the wind knocks down your fence row, there will be coverage within your standard home insurance policy up to the limits for other structures, which is approximately 10% of the policy value. If the damage is on the boundary between you and your neighbor, the claim may need to be shared between you.

When Wind Damage Isn’t Covered

There are some results from a wind storm that your standard home insurance plan won’t pick up.

Removal of debris is typically not covered, e.g. the wind blows a tree into your house, the damage will be reimbursed but you would need to remove the debris.

If the pane in your window is damaged due to weak seals and water seeping in, the wind breaking that window after a branch hits it in the windstorm won’t be covered as that window will be considered under ‘wear and tear’.

Living along the Gulf or Atlantic coasts where there is a high risk for hurricanes may mean that you will be required to buy separate windstorm insurance. Even if there is windstorm included in your standard homeowners insurance plan, wind damage can be expensive for you. In approximately 19 states which includes the District of Columbia, carriers are charging a special wind deductible. Rather than charge a fixed dollar amount, there is a percentage calculated for these deductibles based on the home’s insured value which generally ranges between 1% to 5 %.

Not all insurance carriers will let you select your deductible amount, but if you’re able to, it is in your best interest to go as low as possible at the 1-2% mark in case you ever have to file a claim for wind.

Before any kind of devastating storm hits, make sure that you have pictures and videos of your home and the contents on file with the insurance company and in a safe within your home along with an inventory of all of the contents and documentation of regular maintenance and servicing. These things will be critical in the instance that you need to file any type of homeowners insurance claim. It’s always good to be prepared.

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