Homes are frequently damaged by windstorms, which can include hurricanes, tornadoes, and straight-line winds. There is no place in the United States that is totally protected from the threat of wind damage because high winds can happen in a number of circumstances. If you own a home, you should be aware of how vulnerable it is to wind damage and comprehend the ways in which your home insurance policy shields you. You can feel assured in putting together the necessary financial protection by using Bankrate’s assistance in understanding windstorm insurance.
What is insurance against windstorms?
High winds regularly damage roofs, siding, soffits, and gutters, which is covered by windstorm insurance. Many homeowner’s insurance policies and companies automatically cover wind damage.
If you reside in a high-risk area, you might require a special coverage for certain windstorm events. Homeowners in coastal states, in hurricane-prone regions, as well as those in tornado- and heavy thunderstorm-prone locations, should wish to confirm how wind damage is covered on their homeowners insurance policies.
A “named storm” deductible is also included in some insurance. This implies that while broad wind damage may be covered with a conventional flat deductible (such as $1,000), the deductible is often a percentage of the entire amount of dwelling coverage (such as 2%) if a storm has been given a name, as is typical with hurricanes and tropical storms. You should be aware of how the percentage-based deductible will affect your spending in the case of a hurricane or tropical storm if your policy contains a named storm deductible.
How to buy windstorm insurance and when to do so
Speaking with your agent might help you figure out how wind damage is covered if you already have homes insurance.
From state to state, there are many ways to purchase windstorm insurance. For instance, the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation offers windstorm insurance in Florida due to the state’s high hurricane risk. The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) is a provider for windstorm coverage in Texas, where wind damage can be caused by hurricanes or tornadoes depending on where in the state you live.
The best time to obtain windstorm insurance is subject to a number of limitations that many companies apply. 24 to 48 hours before to a severe storm or other serious weather event, several insurers implement “insurance moratoria.” These moratoria forbid the company from offering fresh insurance in the specified territory for the predetermined amount of time. The intention is to stop consumers from only purchasing this insurance right before a disaster and cancelling it after the storm has passed. The best course of action may be to purchase windstorm insurance before a potential weather event.
What is the price of windstorm insurance?
Frequently, the price of your underlying homes insurance will determine how much windstorm insurance will cost. The average annual cost of homeowner’s insurance in the country is $1,383. This sum represents a homeowners insurance policy with a $250,000 dwelling coverage. However, there will be an extra cost in addition to your house insurance premium if you reside in a high-risk location where you must get a separate windstorm policy. If the storm is a named storm, such as a hurricane or tropical storm, the windstorm coverage on an existing homeowners insurance may occasionally have a separate deductible that is frequently larger than your underlying homeowners policy deductible.
Your costs will vary if you purchase a separate windstorm insurance policy and will be based on a variety of elements, including the age of your house, the cost of rebuilding it, the likelihood of damage in your area, and whether you have taken any damage-mitigating precautions like installing hurricane shutters.
It can be expensive to purchase windstorm insurance, especially if you reside in a region that frequently experiences severe weather. Rates for wind insurance might differ from county to county in the states where these events are a possibility depending on the history of storm damage in each area. Homes built along the seaside will typically cost more to insure than those constructed inland. It’s crucial to discuss all of your options with your agent and obtain quotes from several insurance providers in order to compare pricing and coverages.
Insurance claims for wind
Windstorm damage can be utterly destructive. Every year, one in forty homeowners will file an insurance claim for damage caused by wind or hail. If a windstorm has harmed your house, you can decide to make a claim with your homeowners insurance to get the cost of repairs covered. The following is an example of a successful claim:
- Look over your policy: Review the applicable policy deductible levels. Find out with your carrier how and when these are due. For details on coverage levels and exclusions, carefully read your policy. By doing this before a storm, you can be better prepared for the claims procedure if your house sustains damage.
- File right away: Examine your property for storm damage as soon as it’s safe to do so, then submit an insurance claim. The majority of firms let policyholders submit claims over the phone, however you might also be able to do so online or via an app. Make sure to record the date of the storm because that will serve as your “loss date” when you submit your claim. Most house insurance providers let filing claims for months or even a year after the damage occurred, but they will inquire as to why the claim was delayed. Furthermore, as windstorms can result in extensive damage, submitting your claim as soon as possible might facilitate a quicker resolution.
- Keep track of your damages: Keep a record of the activities leading up to, during, and following a storm. Keep records of your damages, such as pictures or invoices for immediate repairs.
- Plan repairs: Keep the receipt if an emergency repair is required, such as covering your roof with a tarp to stop more damage. This will allow your insurance provider to use it to compensate you. The final work can be scheduled, but don’t book any repairs until your claim handler has given the go-ahead.
- Pose inquiries: During the claim procedure, if you have any questions, ask your agent or the claim processor for explanation.
Although having a damaged home is upsetting, your homeowners insurance is intended to rebuild your house to its pre-damage condition.
A lot of people have questions
Does the wind damage provision of my homeowners insurance apply?
Most of the time, wind damage is automatically covered by homeowners insurance. You might need to get a different coverage if you reside in a high-risk area, such as a coastal zone. Even if wind damage is automatically covered by your homeowners insurance policy, there may be a different, higher “named storm” deductible. It can be a good idea to speak with your insurance provider to determine how and to what extent your homeowners insurance covers damage.
How can you prevent storm damage to your house?
The greatest strategy for handling windstorm damage is to make an effort to avoid it in the first place. You can remove things like lawn furniture, gardening tools, and other detached outdoor goods from your home. These things might fling off as projectiles and harm your house or the houses of your neighbors. In order to prevent your roof from being overhanging, you might wish to maintain your trees pruned. Another preventative strategy for homeowners to think about is storm shutters.
Which states have the highest risk of wind damage?
Wind damage is a possibility in every state in the United States. However, states around the coast are more susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms that have extremely strong winds, while the Midwest and Southeast are some of the states that are most at risk for tornado damage. But specific storms don’t always cause wind damage. Knowing how your insurance will react is crucial for your financial security because high winds can occur in any state and throughout any season.