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Standard home insurance policies usually include some coverage for wind damage. But in many cases, you may want to purchase additional wind storm insurance for additional protection.
Here’s what you need to know about wind storm insurance, what it covers and how to get it.
With Credible you can easily compare homeowners insurance quotes from the leading insurance companies.
What is windstorm insurance?
Windstorms – which include things like tornadoes, rectilinear winds and hurricanes – are a named danger for most home insurance policies. This means that if one of these storms causes damage to your home, your policy will cover repairs and other related costs – once you cover your deduction.
But in some parts of the country this basic coverage is more limited. If you are in a state prone to hurricanes or a high-risk coastal area, for example, your mortgage lender may require you to purchase an additional windstorm insurance policy (or even a hurricane-specific policy) to protect your property from these events.
How does wind storm insurance work?
When you add a separate windbreak cover, you usually get a homeowner’s insurance policy rider – which means it’s a supplement to your policy, not actually part of your basic coverage.
Once added, your wind insurance will cover damage to your property and personal belongings if a hurricane or other wind event hits it. Depending on where you live, your storm insurance can only start when the winds reach a certain speed or when the National Weather Service officially calls it a storm. Be sure to review your policy carefully to understand how to use it and what exactly it covers.
If a covered event occurs, take pictures of all the damage your home has suffered, in addition to the detailed notes, and contact your insurance agent to begin the claim process. They will send a regulator to evaluate your property and the cost of repairing it, minus your deductible.
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What does wind storm insurance cover?
Windstorm insurance usually covers hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, tropical storms and high wind events. These are known as “covered hazards” in your policy documents. Your storm insurance policy generally affects the coverage of your home (Coverage A) and the coverage of personal property (Coverage C) as it protects your home and belongings.
It is important to note that windstorm insurance has two types of deduction: hurricane deduction only applies to hurricane damage, while windstorm deduction or wind / hail deduction covers all types of wind damage. Keep in mind that the deduction of a windstorm is usually a percentage of the total insurance value of your home – usually 1% to 10%. So if your main policy insures your home for a replacement value of $ 300,000, you will pay between $ 3,000 and $ 30,000 for that deduction.
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What does wind storm insurance not cover?
Wind insurance usually does not cover flood damage (even in a hurricane or other storm). If you are in an area prone to floods or hurricanes, you may need a separate flood insurance policy to cover possible damage from these events.
Your storm insurance will also not cover storm or mold damage that is not related to the hazard covered.
For example: If a hurricane brings strong winds that tear off part of your roof, and then the rain damages the exposed part of your property, your wind insurance will only cover roof repairs, not subsequent rain damage. Similarly, if your car has been damaged by a tornado fence, your wind insurance will cover the fallen fence, but not your car.
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How much windbreak coverage should you get?
If you are in a particularly high-risk area, your lender may impose wind storm cover, along with flood insurance. If your lender requires it, you will probably need to reach a minimum coverage threshold.
Even if it is not required, you should review your homeowners’ existing insurance policy. Does it include wind cover? If so, how much? In determining how much coverage (or extra coverage) you need, consider the following:
- Your deduction – Think about how much you are willing to pay out of pocket if there is a storm. Lower deductions come with higher premiums, while higher deductions have lower premiums.
- Your savings – Do you have the funds to cover potential damage in the event of a storm? If not, a more comprehensive coverage is probably the right choice.
- Your level of risk – If your area is very prone to hurricanes or storms, you may want more protection.
How much does wind storm insurance cost?
The cost of wind storm insurance will vary considerably depending on various factors. In Texas, the average premium for a home wind insurance policy from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is about $ 1,650. But if you live in a country that is less prone to wind storms, you can pay much less.
What affects the price of wind storm insurance?
Some of the many factors that affect price of insurance include:
- Your location – Homes located in higher risk areas usually have higher premiums.
- The value of your property – How much it would cost to repair or replace your property plays a big role in your insurance costs.
- The age of your home – Older homes are usually more susceptible to damage and may cost more to insure.
- Local construction costs – They also affect the cost of replacing your home. The higher the construction costs in your area, the more you will usually pay for insurance.
Coastal areas, which are more exposed to hurricanes and other major storms, are usually more expensive to insure due to their increased risk. You may also see higher premiums inland if your area has been frequently affected by storms or catastrophic weather events. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have a hurricane or storm surge. You can visit Website of the Insurance Information Institute to find out if your country is one of them.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PRICE OF OWNERS ‘INSURANCE?
How do you get windstorm insurance?
You can get windstorm insurance through your existing home insurance provider or through a separate insurer.
Here are the general steps you will need to follow to purchase a windstorm insurance policy:
- Contact your insurance carrier and find out how much wind cover you currently have. As mentioned earlier, it is also important to find out if wind storm insurance is required in your area.
- Examine the risk of hurricanes and other storms in your area to determine if additional coverage is needed. Both FEMA and on National Hurricane Center you have tools that you can use to assess the specific risk for your region.
- Compare offers from at least three insurance companies. Start with your current insurer. Make sure you receive bids for multiple deduction levels so you can compare your options and ask for any discounts you may be eligible for (many vendors offer discounts for rates to link your different policies to them) . Compare them with offers from other insurers and see who offers the best coverage and value.
- Choose a policy. Choose an insurance provider and finalize your new policy.
If you cannot obtain windstorm insurance from a private insurer, you may be able to purchase wind insurance through your country’s Fair Access to Insurance Claims (FAIR) plan. Seven Atlantic and Gulf states also offer specific beach and wind plans. FAIR plans offer less coverage and are more expensive than private insurance, so they should be a last resort.
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