Depending on the country where you reside, hurricanes, tornadoes, and harsh storms create windstorms, which can be covered by your insurance policy with extra requirements. Homeowners in various states that experience wind destruction may notice that this incident cannot be covered by home insurance. However, it’s advisable that every homeowner purchase separate windstorm insurance to secure coverage.
Windstorm insurance provides both endorsements and separate plans for certain incidents caused by windstorms that are excluded from homeowners policies.
In addition, places like Texas, Louisiana, and Florida are liable to face critical windstorm incidents, which could increase the expenses of the policy. Also, policies may limit homeowners from securing windstorm coverage within 24-48 hours before the main incident happens.
Lastly, various factors like age of home, renovating expenses, and location could determine the expenses of windstorm insurance.
What is Windstorm Insurance?
Windstorm insurance is a form of property-casualty policy that assists in safeguarding policyholders from damages due to windy incidents. These incidents could be hurricanes, storms, or tornadoes.
This insurance policy basically provides coverage for the physical destruction of property and personal belongings. Also, this coverage is known as homeowners policy riders and has a limited time duration for which you can make a claim for windstorm incidents.
How Windstorm Insurance Works
A typical homeowner policy usually covers damages due to wind and hail. However, if you reside in a country that experiences tornadoes or hurricanes, coverage won’t be extended to wind and hail damage.
Moreover, it’s important to buy an extra or separate policy that only covers windstorms. Also, within 19 states, including Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina, windstorm insurance is required.
Furthermore, your mortgage lender may insist on this type of insurance as well. Certain insurers might secure a separate deductible for wind or hall insurance. This would be separated from your usual deductibles and amount to a percentage of your dwelling coverage, with percentage coverage ranges.
In addition, for a typical named storm, such as a storm or hurricane, you might apply for a named storm deduction. Similar to wind or hail deductibles, named deductibles are estimated as a percentage of your home’s value in the range of 1% to 10%.
If your home is destroyed by a windstorm, snap some pictures and write down valid notes about the incident. You can also provide information to your policy or agent when you make claims that serve as evidence.
An adjuster from the insurance company will review the damage and estimate a fair settlement. Many big policies offer windstorm insurance, also known as hurricane insurance.
In states like Texas, there’s also a public insurance pool for homeowners who can’t get windstorm insurance through the private market.
How Much Does Windstorm Insurance Cost?
The wind and hail insurance expense is determined by the cost of your underlying homeowners insurance. Additionally, the standard average premium nationwide for home insurers is $1428 annually, which covers homeowner policies with dwelling coverage set at $250,000.
However, if you reside in a dangerous place and request a separate windstorm endorsement or policy, you will experience an extra charge apart from your insurance premium. However, windstorm coverage for homeowners policies often obtains a separate deductible higher than your primary homeowners policy deductible.
When purchasing separate windstorm insurance, the expenses are determined by various factors, such as your home’s age, rebuilding expenses, and installing hurricane shutters. Furthermore, it can be very expensive, especially if you reside in areas prone to severe weather events.
In some states where such incidents occur, the wind rate can differ across countries based on the history of storm damage in each region. Generally, homes on the coast come with a heftier insurance price tag compared to those situated inland.
It’s crucial to discuss all alternatives with your agent, securing quotes from numerous companies to assess coverage and prices.
What Does Windstorm Insurance Not Cover?
Windstorm insurance doesn’t extend coverage to protect against water-related destruction that happens due to a windstorm, like storm surges or flooding. However, it’s advisable to secure a separate flood insurance policy to safeguard against these perils.
The majority of leading insurers offer flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, some insurers in the insurance policy, like Chubb, provide their own private coverage.
How and When to Buy Windstorm Insurance
If you have a homeowner’s policy, it’s advisable to consult with your agent, who could assist you in deciding how your policy covers wind damage. To purchase windstorm insurance, it differs across each state.
For instance, Florida has a high hurricane risk. You can buy windstorm insurance from the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Meanwhile, Texas faces wind damage, and based on your region, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) is your source for windstorm coverage.
However, there are various limitations that many insurers impose on purchasing windstorm insurance. Also, these limitations often impose insurance moratoriums for 24–48 hours before the main weather incident happens.
Additionally, the company avoids selling new policies in the marked area. The aim is to prevent people from purchasing before a major disaster, only to cancel once the storm makes its exit.
Who Needs Windstorm Insurance?
In certain regions, insurance companies are mandated by obligations to include windstorm coverage with their homeowner’s insurance policies. However, in other places, especially the coasts, a separate policy might be requested.
Moreover, the criteria differ widely from one region to another. So it’s important to consult with your agent and ensure that you have the right coverage. Furthermore, if you have a mortgage on your home, your lender may provide requirements for windstorm insurance.
How Do I File Claims on Windstorm Insurance?
About 1 in 35 homeowners tend to file insurance claims related to wind or hail annually. If your place is damaged due to a windstorm, you might choose to file a claim with your homeowners insurance to cover the repair expenses.
To file a claim on windstorm insurance, policyholders need to follow specific steps:
• Check Your Policy
Take a good look at your policy, noting deductible levels and understanding how and when they need to be paid.
Review the coverage and exclusions carefully. Doing this before a storm hits can better prepare you for the claims process if your home faces damage.
• File Promptly
Once it’s safe, inspect your property for storm damage and promptly file your insurance claim. Most companies allow phone or online filing. Remember to note the storm’s date as your “loss date” when filing.
While many insurers accept claims months or even a year after the damage, they may question delays. Quick filing, especially after widespread windstorm damage, can speed up the process.
• Document The Damage
Keep records of every timeline of incidents around the storm, and document damages with photos or receipts for emergency fixes.
• Schedule Repairs
If urgent repairs are needed, like putting a tarp on your roof, keep the receipt for reimbursement. Schedule final repairs after your claim handler authorizes them. If any claim-related questions arise, seek clarification from your agent or claim processor.
Dealing with a damaged home is very stressful. But the essence of homeowners insurance is to assist in restoring your dwelling to its pre-damage condition.
Windstorm insurance does not extend to fixing or replacing vehicles damaged by a tree knocked down by the wind or other flying debris. To cover such incidents, an individual needs a comprehensive auto policy for their car.