What You Need to Know About Hurricane Damage Insurance
Hurricane damage insurance is one more safety precaution you must add to secure your home. This is particularly important if you live in a coastal area. As climate change continues to create stronger, larger, and more frequent hurricanes, you have to be prepared in case damages arise from storm surges, severe rainfall and flooding, or those from flying branches and falling trees. Unless you have the right hurrican damage insurance, you will always be worried!
Do I Need Hurricane Damage Insurance If I Have A Homeowner Policy?
Depending on your homeowner policy, hurricane damage may be covered. However, there are various damages caused by storms that you may do well to have more than one policy, particularly if you live in a hurricane-prone area.
If you stick with your old homeowner plan, you may have problems because coverage depends on a few things, including the type of damage, how it was caused, the type of homeowner coverage you purchased, and where you live.
For example, if you own a condo in a high-risk zone, your coverage will be different from another condo owner in an area considered low risk. You may have a policy that covers you from hurricane-force wind damage but since you are living in a high-risk zone, there may be more exclusion for this type of wind damage. Adequate coverage may only come if you add particular windstorm coverage.
This is the problem with hurricanes. They cause different kinds of damage, which complicates insurance. The most common damage will be wind damage but there are also problems that may come from flood, or worse. Your homeowner policy alone may not offer adequate protection.
Be sure your homeowner, renter, or condo insurance has a wind storm and sewer backup endorsement, windstorm coverage, and flood insurance. Remember that any claim you make will also have a limit or maximum amount payable and are subject to a deductible that varies depending on what coverage applies to the claimed damage.
Addressing Common Hurricane Damage From Windstorm
Properties in high-risk areas may not have enough coverage for windstorm damage. Ask your provider if your policy covers it and be informed on the limits, deductibles, and exclusions.
For deductibles, a policy that covers hurricane wind damage or has an endorsement will have a different deductible compared to the basic policy. This is commonly found in states prone to windstorms like Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Note that there is also a 15-day waiting period before the policy takes effect. This may be different depending on your provider. What is important is that you read your policy and take note of the start and end dates of coverage.
For exclusions, people with properties in high-risk areas usually have windstorm damage excluded from the basic homeowner policy. As such, an added windstorm policy may be necessary to protect your home. This is particularly important for people living in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia.
If you cannot add it to your usual homeowner policy, you can buy it from another company. Make sure you look into it fast. Some insurance companies may temporarily stop selling hurricane-related damage insurance before a hurricane watch. Usually, 48 hours before a hurricane watch, it may not be possible to buy coverage. Even if it was, there is still the waiting period to deal with, so this is something you cannot really delay. It will cost you a lot of money once a hurricane-related problem strikes your home and you do not have the proper hurricane damage insurance!