Experts estimate that natural disasters caused $165.1 billion in damage in 2022.
When the wind begins to blow, and the weather alerts begin to go crazy on your phone, there’s really only one question you have: am I safe? And when the storm has passed and you know you and your loved ones survived, you ask the next question: can I afford this damage?
We all like to believe that our insurance will take care of us should such a catastrophe occur. After all, if your house burns down, your insurance will cover you. But does insurance cover storm damage?
Keep reading to learn the answer to this simple question.
Does Insurance Cover Storm Damage?
Yes, insurance can cover storm damage. However, not all insurances cover all storm damage. It depends on the type of damage as well as the type of policy you have.
Ice and Water Damage
Water causes irreparable damage when it seeps or bursts into places where it isn’t intended. Both thunderstorms with intense rain or ice accumulating on a roof can cause water damage.
Most homeowner insurance policies cover damage caused by hail and ice. But there may be limits to other types of water damage.
For example, not all insurance companies cover the damage caused by a burst pipe. Read your policy carefully so you know what water damage the company will cover. Then ask your agent about the areas that most concern you if the policy does not cover them.
Lightening Strikes and Power Surges
Lightening strikes result in power surges, smoke damage, and sometimes even fire. Most homeowner policies cover smoke and fire damage caused by a lightning strike. Not all, however, cover power surges.
A power surge will damage major and small appliances in the home. Basically, whatever you have plugged into the wall will receive some damage if lightning strikes.
Insurance may cover the damage your appliances incur because of a power surge. Check your policy or ask your insurance agent to see exactly what the policy covers.
Wind, Hail, and Fallen Trees
Intense winds produced by a storm can lead to torn siding, tree damage, and missing shingles. Hail can also cause the same type of damage.
Homeowners’ insurance generally covers the damage caused by wind. If the inside of your home suffers damage because of wind, then your homeowner’s insurance should kick in. Usually, a policy will cover damage caused by a falling tree.
There may be an exception to this rule, though. If the tree did not break because of the storm, your insurance may not cover the damage.
Homeowner’s Insurance and Storm Damage
Homeowner’s insurance, thus, covers typical storm damage. A standard policy will usually cover damage caused by the following events:
- Fallen trees
- Lightning strikes
- Ice storms
Usually, typical homeowners insurance will not cover the damage caused by earthquakes and floods. If you live in a place that regularly experiences earthquakes or floods, your insurance agent may have a policy you can purchase to cover these disasters.
Does Storm Damage Insurance Exist?
Specific storm damage insurance does not exist. Your home insurance policy should cover basic storm damage. A home insurance policy exists to protect you financially should something happen to your home. Few people can afford to repair a home on their own without insurance.
If you’re concerned that your insurance won’t cover storm damage, then you need to contact your insurance agent. Go through your policy carefully and then ask your agent questions.
Filing a Storm Damage Claim
Once a storm has happened, you want to return to life as quickly as normal. But filing an insurance claim will take some time and patience.
Begin by calling your agent. Have your agent’s business card in your wallet or purse so you can contact them as quickly as possible.
When you call the agent, you need to have the following items on hand:
- Date of the incident
- Time of the incident
- A description of what happened
Before you call the agent, take pictures of the property damage. Then you can email the pictures to them.
Once you file a claim, your agent will put together a team of experts that will reach out to you. These experts will inspect the damage. They’re the people who will help you get your life on track as quickly as possible.
If your home has suffered some damage but not severe damage, bring in a contractor to give you a repair estimate. The contractor will give you an estimate for whatever work you need done, whether its roof replacement, window repair, or any repairs to your storm-damaged home.
The contractor will help you determine if you’ve met your deductible. If the contractor’s bid exceeds your deductible, call your insurer and file a claim. Make sure you take pictures of all the potential damage caused by the storm.
Protecting Your Property and Your Wallet
Before a storm hits, you can do proactive things to protect your property and ultimately your finances.
Know Your Policy
First, know your policy. Pay attention to coverage limitations and exclusions. Understand your environment and make sure you have the right storm coverage for where you live.
If you don’t know what your policy covers, ask your insurance agent for clarification.
Second, think ahead. You can’t ask your insurance company about hurricane coverage when you’re in the middle of a hurricane watch. So do your work now before the disaster strikes.
Plan Your Deductible
Finally, choose a reasonable deductible. The deductible is the money you pay before your insurance kicks in. Make sure you have a deductible you can afford.
High deductibles tempt many homeowners because then the insurance premium costs less. However, if you cannot afford a high deductible, then plan on paying more for your premium costs.
You know your budget, so pick the plan that works best for you.
Stay Covered, Stay Safe
When you think about storm damage, you no longer need to ask yourself, “Does insurance cover storm damage?” This type of damage, along with your policy, determines if your insurance will cover the damage.
Has your home suffered damage because of a storm? If so, we can help. Contact us today for an online estimate.
We can work with your insurance company to make sure you have timely service and can move on with life after a storm.