Homeowners or renters insurance policies will cover some damage encountered in a hurricane, but they may not cover everything. For this reason, you may want to review your insurance policies before hurricane season arrives so that you can be prepared and know what to expect in case something happens.
It really depends on how an insurance company writes an individual policy as to whether the renters or homeowner policy covers all aspects of hurricane damage. Some policies require extra coverage for certain types of damage that relate to the hurricane.
Understanding How a Homeowners Insurance Policy Works with Hurricanes
First, it is important to understand that insurance companies do not carry any policy that solely deals with hurricanes. Nothing like hurricane insurance exists.
Instead, insurance companies write policies that give homeowners coverage regarding the damage that hurricanes may cause. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), some damage homeowners may see from a hurricane include:
- Wind damage to a roof
- Damage from falling trees
- Structural damage to the home from wind
- Flooded basements
- Water damage in walls
- Damage to electrical wiring in the home
Below are the types of items you may need extra homeowners insurance coverage for in a hurricane.
Homeowners insurance policies rarely cover flooding damage, regardless of whether the flooding came from a hurricane or another type of storm or natural disaster. Water damage from rain falling through a hole in the roof may be part of the insurance coverage, though. This can be a highly confusing aspect of homeowners insurance.
You almost certainly will need to purchase flood coverage separately and add it to your homeowners policy.
Hurricanes bring sustained winds over long periods at high speeds. This can cause extensive damage to the home, especially the roof. Coverage for wind damage is nearly always part of a homeowners insurance policy. However, in a hurricane-prone area like Louisiana, some homeowners policies may specifically exclude wind damage that occurs in conjunction with a hurricane.
In a situation like this, homeowners may need to purchase an add-on for the policy that provides coverage for wind in a hurricane.
Another item homeowners have to watch for in an insurance policy related to hurricanes involves something called a hurricane deductible. In states like Louisiana that frequently have hurricanes, insurance companies might give homeowners a higher deductible for the damage a hurricane causes.
This hurricane deductible would be higher than what the homeowners policy has for regular storm damage or other types of damage. Policies often enact the hurricane deductible as soon as authorities issue a hurricane warning for an area.
Working Through Policy Questions
It can be difficult to understand all the specific aspects of a homeowners insurance policy related to hurricane damage. Insurance companies may take advantage of this confusion to try to limit the payouts they make.
The insurer may act in bad faith by withholding information from you about what it should cover. You may need help deciphering your policy. Our legal team understands homeowners insurance policy language.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Understanding How a Renters Insurance Policy Works with Hurricanes
A renters insurance policy has quite a few of the same considerations as a homeowners policy regarding paying claims after a hurricane. Renters insurance does not provide specific hurricane coverage, but often it will protect the renter’s possessions from the damage associated with the hurricane.
Although most policies will cover the same basic items related to a hurricane, some have a few exclusions. Always check the specific language in your renters policy regarding potential hurricane damage.
Specific Types of Hurricane Damage Covered in a Renters Policy
Here are some weather events associated with a hurricane that may cause damage to your property in a rental home or apartment:
- Lightning that causes a fire
- Damage to a natural gas line that leads to an explosion
- Falling objects striking your personal property
- Water damage unrelated to flooding
If winds in a hurricane destroyed the roof of your rental property, rain could enter the apartment through the hole. This could cause water damage to your personal property, which should have coverage.
Items Your Renters Policy May Not Cover
Typically, a renters insurance policy will not have flood coverage. Should you suffer damage to your personal property related to a flood after a hurricane, you will not receive a payment.
Renters do have the option of purchasing an add-on to the renters insurance policy to cover flooding related to a hurricane or another kind of storm. Renters may need to go through the National Flood Insurance Program from FEMA to obtain flood insurance, as private insurers do not always offer flood coverage to renters.
We Will Help You If You Are Facing a Dispute with Your Insurance Company
If you believe your insurer is not treating you fairly with your claim related to hurricane damage, consider hiring Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to protect your interests. Contact our team for a free consultation today at (337) 777-7777.