Does Property Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?
Q: Gerald, With all the major hurricanes that have happened this year, I was wondering if my property insurance covers hurricane damage? Derrick, Sea Girt, NJ
A: That’s a great question, Derrick. The coverage that you get for a standard homeowner’s policy varies, so you always want to check it. But, typically it will cover windstorm damage from a hurricane for things like broken windows or a torn roof or damage from trees. Normally, a standard homeowner policy will cover those things.
However, if you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes like parts of Florida or Texas or even maybe where you are down on the Jersey shore, insurers can exclude that coverage from a standard homeowner’s policy. And even if they do cover windstorm damage from a hurricane, they can make you pay a higher deductible for hurricane damage. But if, for example, it’s not covered in your homeowner’s policy, you can call the insurer and see if they can add that windstorm/hurricane coverage to your policy or you can try to find another policy that does include wind damage from a hurricane.
During a hurricane, it’s not just the wind damage, it’s the flood damage that can often be much greater. Neither a standard homeowner’s policy nor even a separate windstorm policy covers flood damage from a hurricane. You need separate flood insurance for that. The National Flood Insurance Program offers flood insurance as does some private insurers.
To recap: A standard homeowner’s policy is not going to cover hurricane flood damage, but it may cover some wind damage. The key is you really have to look at your policy specifically to make certain what is covered.
Thanks for your question, Derrick! Good luck.
For more real estate information and tips, visit my blog at geraldlucas.com.