Will My Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?
That’s a good question. Obviously, if you’re in a hurricane damage-prone area, you’ll want to know if your insurer will cover hurricane damage. The answer is yes and no. Most home owner’s insurance policies protect against hurricane wind damage. This would include broken windows, downed trees (that happen to hit your home during the storm), blown in garage doors, etc…
But, does this mean that you’re covered if a 15 foot storm surge decimates the first floor of your beach house? Nope. Not unless you have flood insurance. This is important to note, considering that after hurricane Katrina, 11 billion dollars were paid out in flood damages. Generally, homeowners insurance comes in the following six types of coverage outlined by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners:
- Damage to hour home
- Other structures such as a garage, deck or swimming pool
- Loss or damage to your personal possessions
- Loss of use coverage
- Personal liability to third parties
- Medical payments to third parties
Since most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, often the most devastating of the types of hurricane damage, you’ll need to purchase this separately from the federal National Flood Insurance Program. This means that when you have to wade your way to the kitchen, unless you have this very, very important piece of coverage, you may find yourself having to pay for hurricane flood damage completely out of pocket. So, review your policy to make sure that you are covered for both flood and wind damage.
And, long before hurricane season starts, preferably once you buy a home, you should make absolutely sure that you purchase flood insurance. Abstaining from doing so could mean that when you file your hurricane insurance claims, you may be denied hurricane damages. To learn more about hurricane insurance as well as insurance for flood damage, take a look at How to file an insurance claim for hurricane damage.