As winds rise, the threats of damage to your home increase. Falling limbs or airborne debris might strike the house in high winds. Disastrous wind speeds might even threaten the home's structural integrity. The roof, walls and foundations might all be at-risk, and any damage might prove costly. So, to cover the costs, you might want your homeowners insurance policy to pay. It might do so, but not all policies cover all windstorm damage.
Here's what to look at when enrolling in coverage.
What Damage Can Wind Do?
You might think wind is harmless, but that's not the case. Consistent wind over time can do damage to your home. Severe wind speeds brought on by storms or other weather might wreak havoc. The faster and more sustained the wind speeds, the more damage your home might sustain. In each case, thousands of dollars in exterior repairs might arise. If exterior damage exposes the interior, then many more belongings might sustain harm.
You will want to expediently repair any household wind damage. The sooner you do, the less exposure you might face from risks like mold, structural insecurity and pest invasions. It is only natural for you to want your homeowners insurance to help you out with the costs.
Home Insurance For Wind Damage
In most cases, homeowners insurance policies will cover wind damage. However, that doesn't mean they will always do so.
When it comes to damage from hazards caused by wind, your policy can likely help you out. For example, if a tree on your property falls onto your house, then your policy can still pay. It might also pay for damage from rain, hail or other debris that gets into your house as a result of the tree falling. Still, you might have to prove that the tree fell due to the wind, rather than from being dead and neglected.
Some policies exclude all types of wind damage. Others will exclude damage caused by specific weather events, like hurricanes or tornadoes. Check your policy when enrolling to see how it addresses wind damage, and how it will compensate you. If your policy excludes wind damage, then you might be able to add coverage. You might do so by buying a specific policy endorsement or a separate windstorm policy.
For example, in many coastal communities in North Carolina, windstorm damage is not covered on standard policies. However, homeowners can receive coverage through a special insurance system called the Coastal Property Insurance Pool. This system allows homeowners to buy this coverage from numerous private insurance companies.
Limits For Windstorm Damage
All homeowners policies establish what items they will insure in case of wind damage. Most often, you will find coverage under:
- Structure Insurance: Damage to your house and attached buildings will have coverage. Detached buildings, carports and storage sheds might have coverage under a separate item called other/detached structures coverage.
- Possessions Insurance: If wind damages items inside your home, coverage can help compensate you. Certain unique or expensive items might not have coverage, however.
- Loss of Use Insurance: If, following significant damage, you cannot stay in your home, then your policy might compensate you for certain living expenses and outstanding costs.
Remember, though your policy might cover wind, there will still be limits to your coverage. Your insurer will likely apply your deductible to any damage. Some policies even include special deductibles for windstorm damage. Additionally, some policies won't pay the full replacement cost of certain items. They might only pay you an item's cash value at the time the damage occurs.
The best way to understand where your homeowners insurance applies to wind damage is to review your policy with your insurer. At All About Insurance, our agents are happy to help you understand how your policy initially protects you and where you might need to buy extended coverage.
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