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Is Storm Damage Covered By Insurance? Your Questions Answered

Is Storm Damage Covered By Insurance? Your Questions Answered

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Most homeowners insurance policies will cover some sort of storm damage; however, what it actually covers varies from insurer to insurer and from one policy to the next.

Regardless of where you live in the United States, most regions experience extreme weather in one shape or another. The various areas in the U.S. experience tornadoes and other strong wind storms, while other parts of the country can expect hurricanes and other tropical storms. Other regions are prone to extreme dryness, while others will have heavy rain or snowfall.

Storms are inevitable and unavoidable. The unfortunate truth is that these intense storms can cause extreme damage to homes and businesses that end up being very expensive to remediate, repair, or rebuild. To establish a financial safety net and protect themselves, most homeowners and business owners invest in insurance. So, how does insurance play into storm damage?

Continue reading to find out.

Does Insurance Cover Storm Damage?

It’s difficult to answer this question with a simple “yes” or “no.” Every insurance provider is different, and every policy within that insurance company is different. However, for conversation’s sake, we’ll answer yes. Most insurance policies will cover some types of storm damage. 

Generally speaking, most standard home insurance policies will cover your home and most belongings against the following:

  • Wind Damage — Wind damage, also in this category, could be tornado or hurricane damage, which is often covered in a standard home insurance policy. It typically covers your home’s structure, including your home’s roof and siding, and even the interior of your home and your belongings. However, it is entirely possible that your policy excludes or reduces coverage for wind, tornado, or hurricane damage. So, make sure to check the terms and conditions of your policy. If your policy does exclude wind damage, you may want to look into purchasing a separate policy. 
  • Hail Damage — Standard home insurance policies will typically cover half of the damage once you’ve met your deductible. In fact, did you know that hail-caused damage to your roof is one of the most common weather and storm-related claims that homeowners make?
  • Water, Snow, and Ice Damage — Sudden and accidental water damage that originates inside of your property could be covered by your insurance policy. However, if a storm floods your yard or your basement, you probably won’t be protected; you’ll need a separate policy for that.
    Damage caused to your home from the weight of snow, sleet, or ice is often found on the list of covered perils in your homeowners’ insurance policy.
  • Wildfire Damage — The majority of standard homeowners insurance policies include coverage for wildfire damage. However, like with other types of damage, you may not be able to find an insurance company that includes wildfires as a covered peril if you live in an area prone to wildfires.
    If you are struggling to find an insurer that covers wildfire damage, look for a state-run FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) policy to get the coverage you need.
  • Lightning Damage — If lightning strikes your home and causes damage to your home and personal belongings, starts a fire, or causes a power surge, most home insurance plans offer coverage. You might also have coverage on any appliances or electronics damaged by a power surge.

PRO TIP — It is possible for your homeowners’ policy to have a separate, higher deductible for damage caused by hail or windstorms. Always read the fine print and understand what is covered, what isn’t, and the other ins and outs of your plan.

What Types of Extreme Weather Damage Will Home Insurance Not Cover?

There are some types of extreme weather damage that a standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Flood Damage — In the vast majority of cases, flood damage caused by weather is not covered under a standard home insurance plan. However, home and business owners can purchase a specialized flood insurance policy from a private flood insurance company or the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Earthquake Damage — A standard home insurance policy will not typically cover damage caused by an earthquake. In certain states, some insurance companies will offer property owners a separate policy or endorsement to obtain coverage for earthquakes. In California, where earthquakes are common, insurance can be obtained through the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).

5 Tips for Protecting Your Property from Extreme Weather

There is nothing you can do to avoid a storm. However, that doesn’t mean you are totally out of luck when it comes to protecting your property. Here are three things you can do to protect your home or business from severe weather:

  1. Prepare and Protect Your Home — Thanks to today’s technology, we often know days or weeks before a storm is set to hit. Before the storm hits, take time to batten down the hatches around your property to prepare for the storm. Here are a handful of things you may want to do before the bad weather rolls in:
    • Trim overhanging tree branches and limbs that could break in high winds or heavy snowfall and cause damage to the property below.
    • Install storm shutters or add plywood panels to all of your glass doors and windows.
    • Seal or insulate exterior wall openings, such as hose spigots, outdoor outlets, vents, etc.
    • Store away outdoor furniture, toys, yard decor, and grills.
    • Replace old garage doors and tracks with ones that are built to withstand intense winds.
  2. Be Proactive — Don’t wait to take action on protecting your property until there’s an impending disaster. Take action now to invest in proper home protection. If there’s a hurricane coming in your area, it’s probably too late to purchase a homeowners insurance policy since most insurance providers won’t sell policies if there’s a hurricane watch.
  1. Understand Your Policy — Every policy is different. Even if you have had a previous policy from the same insurance company, chances are it’s different in one way or another. Be aware of any coverage limitations and exclusions outlined in your plan. If your property is in a region prone to extreme weather, make sure you have the right storm insurance coverage you would need in the event of bad weather and storm damage. If you are certain about what is covered, it’s crucial to get in touch with your insurance provider and get the clarification you need.
  1. Take a Home Inventory — If you are in the path of a storm or live in an area that experiences extreme weather regularly, chances are your property will suffer at least a little bit of damage at one point or another. Before the severe storm strikes, walk around the inside and outside of your property to take an inventory of your home and personal belongings. Take pictures and video footage along the way. This will help tremendously with the tedious insurance claims process.
  2. Make Sure Your Deductible is in Your Budget — There’s no surprise that storm and wind damage can be costly, and the deductibles on your insurance policy are no different. Situations may arise where your policy’s percentage deductible is more than you expected, so be prepared to pay more in out-of-pocket expenses.

You may have the option to choose a flat deductible amount. Consider choosing the lowest deductible in exchange for paying a higher monthly premium. You’ll need to determine which makes the most sense for you and your family.

Steps to Take for a Weather-Related Insurance Claim

When you experience damage to your property as a result of extreme weather, reach out to your insurance company right away to get things moving and to prevent further damage from happening. If your home or business is damaged due to a storm, but you aren’t sure if it meets your deductible, think about hiring a qualified professional to inspect the area and write up a quote for repairing the damage.

If the estimate is greater than your deductible, contact your insurance provider to look at filing a claim. Having photographic or video evidence often comes in handy during the claims process.

Need Help with Storm Damage? The Experts at Utah Disaster Clean Up & Restoration Can Help!

If your property has experienced storm damage, the professionals at Utah Disaster Clean Up & Restoration are here to help you.

There’s no doubt that extreme weather can destroy a home, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. That’s why our damage restoration team will be there at a moment’s notice to make things right again. With over two decades of restoring homes, our trusted team has the equipment, knowledge, and experience to get the job done. 

In addition to storm damage services, our team specializes in smoke and fire damage, sewer damage, mold remediation, floods, and more. We are available for 24/7 emergency services, offer fast, friendly, and quality customer service, and give our customers a one-year guarantee. 

We are located in Murray and serve residents and businesses throughout the Salt Lake Valley. 

Contact us today using the form on our website, or call us at 435-512-1584 to get started today!

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