Does Hazard Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?
Hurricanes can cause all types of damage. Despite the fact that you have homeowner’s insurance, not all hurricane damage is covered by your standard policy. Understanding what might and might not be covered can help you buy the right coverage for your home.
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What Homeowner’s Insurance Might Cover
Keep in mind, every insurance policy is different. In general, though, wind damage may be covered by your standard homeowner’s insurance. This is often a large reason for the damages in a hurricane. It’s important to read the fine print on your policy, though. Depending on where you live, your policy may exclude damages caused by wind.
Another consideration is how much your deductible is as a result of the wind. Many policies, especially those in hurricane-prone areas, have what they call a ‘hurricane deductible.’ While there isn’t a separate policy for this type of event, there can be a separate and higher deductible. If the insurance adjuster determines the wind damage is a result of the hurricane, you may be liable for that higher deductible.
Lastly, your policy will likely have maximum coverage amounts for the wind damage. Just because you have wind damage coverage doesn’t mean you’ll receive the full amount necessary to repair the damages. Understanding your limits can help you choose the right policy for your home.
The Hurricane Damage Homeowner’s Insurance Will Not Cover
There is one major type of hurricane damage that homeowner’s insurance will not cover – flood damage. It does not matter what part of the home is damaged, anything resulting from a flood is off limits from the standard homeowner’s policy.
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Luckily, you can get coverage through a flood insurance policy. You obtain this policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. The policy is completely separate from your homeowner’s insurance, including a separate and higher premium.
Determining the Hurricane Deductible
Unlike the standard deductibles on your homeowner’s insurance, the hurricane deductible is likely a percentage of your home’s value. The insurance company bases your percentage on the likelihood of a hurricane occurring in your area. The deductibles usually range between 2 and 5 percent of your home’s value. The more likely it is that a hurricane will occur in your area, the more likely it is you’ll pay 5% of the home’s value. You will not pay the hurricane deductible unless there is a true hurricane warning issued in your area.
Getting Paid for Hurricane Damage
So how do you make a claim if your home suffers hurricane damage? The same way you would if your home had any other damages. As soon as you know there is damage to your home, report it to your homeowner’s insurance company.
As a part of the process, you’ll need to provide as much documentation as possible including:
- Pictures of the damage
- Videos of the damage
- Proof that you took preventative measures to prevent further damage (covering windows, etc.)
- Start obtaining estimates from contractors to repair the damages
The quicker you act with the insurance company and the contractors, the quicker your damages can be repaired. If the hurricane is widespread, you can expect your insurance company to be busy with many claims. The earlier you make your claim the faster you’ll get the money you need to make repairs.
Before you buy a homeowner’s insurance policy, make sure you know the policy for hurricane damage. If you know you are in a risky area, consider increasing your coverage for wind damage as well as buying flood insurance. While you don’t want to think of the worst happening to your home, it’s much better to be safe than sorry in the end.
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