When a hurricane strikes, it can cause extensive damage to homes, leaving homeowners with the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. Even if your home isn’t directly on the coast, you may experience property damage from extreme winds and flooding. It’s critical to review your insurance coverage to ensure you have the proper protections in place if a hurricane occurs in your area.
What Insurance Do Homeowners Need to Prepare for Hurricanes?
Home insurance may cover certain types of hurricane damage, specifically damage caused by wind and rain. Standard home insurance policies may include limited coverage for wind-related damage caused by hurricanes, such as roof damage or broken windows, as well as damage caused by rain entering your home through these openings. Depending on location, hurricanes and other major storms may be excluded from homeowners coverage. In these cases, separate windstorm insurance may be needed.
Additionally, while home insurance may cover wind and rain damage, it typically does not cover flooding. Flooding, including storm surges and heavy rainfall associated with hurricanes, is usually excluded from standard home insurance policies. To protect against flood damage, homeowners in hurricane-prone areas often need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
In summary, home insurance may offer limited coverage for some hurricane-related damage, primarily wind and rain damage, but it almost certainly does not cover flooding. To ensure comprehensive protection against the various perils associated with hurricanes, homeowners may need both a standard home insurance policy and a separate flood insurance policy if they live in a flood-prone area. Windstorm insurance may also be necessary. Homeowners may also consider adding a sewer backup endorsement to their homeowners insurance policy. This may protect homes from losses caused by water or waterborne material discharge from a sewer, drain or sump.
What Is the Claims Process for Hurricanes?
The claims process for hurricanes involves several crucial steps. After insuring everyone is safe, contact your insurance company to report the damage. Mitigate further damage and file a detailed claim, including photographs and damage descriptions. Be aware of your policy’s coverage and any special provisions. For instance, depending on your policy, you may be subject to a specific hurricane deductible. An adjuster will assess the damage, and upon claim approval, you’ll receive a settlement offer. Use these funds for repairs or replacements, keeping meticulous records. If your home is uninhabitable, your policy may cover additional living expenses. Procedures can vary, so open communication with your insurer is vital.
Contact Brent R. Lucas Agency to discuss your insurance needs. We can make coverage recommendations to protect your home and belongings from the unpredictable forces of nature.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.