Instead of flipping through your insurance policy while you get ready for a storm, you want to make sure you have enough or the correct insurance coverage. This includes hurricane or windstorm coverage. It’s also a wonderful time to look for gaps in your coverage, and you should make sure you have enough money on hand to cover your deductible if you have to file a claim.
However, to know what coverage you need, you have to understand how different home insurance policies work. We’ll help you find out what coverage you need if a hurricane reaches the shore and threatens your home.
Defining Hurricane Insurance
Hurricane insurance is home insurance coverage that protects your home from any damage that a hurricane caused. However, the National Hurricane Center has to declare it an event first. Hurricane insurance usually requires both flood and homeowners insurance. It could also have coverage for damage due to windstorms. Any damage your home gets due to high winds is usually covered under the standard insurance coverage. However, if you live on the coast or in hurricane zones, you could have to purchase a rider to cover your home from hurricane damage.
Most regular homeowners insurance also includes water damage, but there are exceptions you have to watch for. Water damage that is a result of flooding usually doesn’t fall under homeowners insurance, and you’ll have to buy additional flood insurance coverage.
Hurricane Insurance Coverage
Based on which combinations of home insurance you pick out, your hurricane policy can help cover any damages to your home-related to heavy rainfall, wind, storm surge, tornadoes, or weather-related perils. The following types of coverage can help cover different hurricane damage:
- Additional Living Expense Coverage – Renters, homeowners, or condo policies usually have coverage for additional living expenses. This is important in the event that a risk that falls under the insurance policy destroys your home and you need somewhere to temporarily live. It can help cover your costs of living while you rebuild your home. There is usually a limited amount of coverage for this, so you have to ask if you can buy higher limits. You might need more than the standard coverage if you have a large hurricane loss.
- Flood – This covers storm surge, flooding, and wind-driven water. Your home insurance policy won’t cover these items. Flooding is a very large risk when you have a hurricane, and renters can purchase this coverage too.
- Homeowner – A standard policy will cover your home’s structure from damage from several sources, including winds or hurricanes. It can also include lighting damage, but it has exclusions to pay attention to as well.
- Sewer Back-Up – Heavy rains can cause your sewer system to back up, and so could extreme weather or hurricanes. A lot of standard insurance policies exclude this coverage, and you can add it to your policy as an endorsement if you don’t get automatic coverage.
What Standard Home Insurance Policies Exclude
A lot of people don’t realize that their home insurance policy has limitations when it comes to coverage for hurricanes. If you have a very basic policy, you may not have all of the coverage you need.
A homeowners policy tends to exclude damage from a storm surge or wind-driven waters, even if a hurricane causes them. Hurricanes can also cause a large amount of flooding, so you should purchase a flood insurance policy if you want coverage.
There are also different claims settlement terms to consider. If you don’t have replacement cost coverage in your policy, or you didn’t take steps to insure your home to the value, then you most likely won’t get enough money back to rebuild your home. So, if your home will take $100,000 to rebuild, but you only have coverage for 75% of the rebuild cost with a 1% deductible, you’ll only get $44,250 instead of $100,000. This is $75,000 less with a deductible of $750 and depreciation.
If you live in certain states in the United States, you could have to pay a “named storm” or hurricane deductible. This means that the deductible you have to pay before insurance pays out due to a named storm or hurricane can be between 1% and 10% of your building value. If you live in a condo, the condo insurance won’t cover the building that your condo is in. You should ask your condo association what the building policy covers so that you’re aware of your responsibilities and their responsibilities if you have to file a claim.
If you have high-value personal property, sports equipment, or collections, check with any special limits on your home insurance to see what it’ll cover and what it’ll exclude. Special limits have coverage restrictions for specific items. Ask your insurance representative to outline what it’ll cover and what it won’t when you do your annual review.
If your home is in a high-risk zone, your homeowners’ insurance policy may not offer or will limit coverage for hail or windstorm damage. Areas that are hot spots for hurricanes and tornadoes usually have exclusions for wind damage. If this is the case, you’ll have to purchase windstorm insurance if you want coverage.
Homeowner insurance policies could also have a hurricane or windstorm deductible. The insurance company will outline what type of event will trigger the windstorm or hurricane deductible. Usually, this includes whether or not the storm has a name and the speed of the storm.
Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Options with Nsure
If you’re looking for homeowners insurance with hurricane coverage, try Nsure. We’ll help you compare quotes from the top 50 insurance companies in the United States to ensure you get the coverage you need to protect your home.