When a hurricane passes and you’re left with damage what happens? In the case of flooding caused by a hurricane, you might need to get a flood policy, separate from your homeowner’s or property insurance, because that’s usually not covered. We have a good resource if you need it. You likely should have some form of supplemental windstorm coverage in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, because of the trends in these areas of heightened hurricane activity, and what is provided by your homeowner’s insurance policy may not be sufficient. The reality is that the coverage if you file a claim under your homeowner’s policy, may not provide you the proper compensation. There are several things that we need to think about where hurricanes and homeowners’ insurance policies are concerned. Perils are either listed as “covered” unless they are specifically “excluded”. A hurricane will usually not be named as a covered or excluded peril, but the policy would mention the effects of a storm, like wind and flooding. Here are a few coverages:
Wind – If shingles are blown off your roof or your plants and trees are lifted and replanted by the elements, this should be covered by your homeowner’s policy. If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes you may not have this coverage and will likely have to purchase supplemental coverage for wind. This is another reason that it is pivotal to review your policy and understand your coverages.
Flooding and Water Damage – Some forms of water damage are covered, like a burst pipe, but it likely excludes flooding and storm surges from a hurricane. There are times when you could get coverage like if your carpet is damaged by rainwater, that was caused by a neighbor’s mailbox going through your wall. That’s a very elaborate example, but kind of plausible. All this to say that you may want to add wind and flooding coverages to your policy if you find yourself without either.
Sewer Backup – We can put this under the category of covered… sometimes. This is inconsistently covered from policy-to-policy, provider-to-provider, and state-to-state. This sort of coverage is something that you can generally add an endorsement to your policy, if not provided at the outset. If you have a hurricane hit, you’ll want to have sewer back-up and flood coverages to ensure coverage in any eventuality.
We’ve already talked about Additional Living Expenses(ALE), here, but putting it simply: If you have to spend any time away from your home because it is been deemed “unlivable” for any amount of time ALE reimburses you for hotel and meals, for the time you are unable to return safely to your property.
If you’re a renter, renter’s insurance covering a hurricane may be a big worry, and it should. Similar to a homeowner’s policy will cover certain damages a hurricane will cause, so long as the damage is named by your policy. Most renter’s insurance policies don’t cover flooding so getting a separate policy for this may be something worth looking into. Renter’s insurance won’t cover anything that happens to the building your apartment or condo is located in. If your policy has hurricane coverage, you’ll only pay your standard deductible.
If you’d like to have a hurricane claim reviewed by our team, Gables Insurance Recovery is always happy to help you in pursuing your claim by presenting objective findings and negotiating your settlement.