Big storms come with heavy downpours and violent winds. Homeowners’ insurance is a great way to shield yourself from financial losses when a storm rakes havoc in your home. However, it’s important to understand a typical homeowners’ policy may cover certain damages and exclude others. In this article, we shall look at what kinds of storm damage are covered in general homeowners insurance and what damages need special insurance coverage. You’ll also learn how to handle a storm situation and how to file a storm damage roof insurance claim.
Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance
It’s important to go through the fine print in your homeowners’ policy and understand how your insurer defines terms like “flood” or “earth movement.” Damages caused by hail, wind, and lightning are often covered by a regular homeowners’ policy, but things like floods or earthquakes aren’t. Here is an overview of damages covered by homeowners’ insurance.
Water and Ice Damage
Whether it’s an ice dam in winter or a thunderstorm in spring, your roof can suffer or be destroyed, exposing your home to water damage. While hail and ice damage are typically covered by homeowners’ insurance, coverage for water damage vary depending on the exact cause. For instance, some policies will protect you if a frozen pipe bursts in your home while others won’t. Review your policy and see what type of water damage it covers.
Lightning Strikes and Power Surges
If lightning strikes your home or other structures covered by the policy, the resulting damage (usually smoke or fire) is covered by your homeowners’ insurance. Some policies will include damages caused by power surges or outages resulting from a lightning strike, including damaged appliances and electronics. As with every other coverage, policy limits apply.
Wind, Hail and Fallen Trees
Strong storms can also rip apart your roof’s shingles or destroy siding. Homeowners’ insurance covers wind damage, and the coverage may include damage from hail, snow getting into your home, or wind driving snow or rain into your home. Most policies also provide coverage for fallen trees if they cause damage to your home, as long as the tree broke as a result of wind or storm.
Storm Damage Excluded from Homeowners Insurance
Damages caused by earthquakes and floods are typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance and you’ll need special coverage for them.
- Earthquakes – Damages caused by earth movements or earthquakes are nor included in regular homeowners’ insurance. You can purchase earthquake insurance as a separate policy. Ask your insurance agent if this coverage is available in your area.
- Flood – Flood damage is also excluded from ordinary homeowners’ insurance, whether the damage is caused by a storm, heavy rains, or an overflowing river. Depending on how prevalent your area is to floods, you may need to purchase a separate policy for this.
What to do After Storm Damage
It’s important to understand what your homeowners’ insurance policy covers before storm damage happens. That way, you’ll know what steps to take after storm damage and whether it makes sense to file a storm damage roof insurance claim.
When storm damage happens, the first person to contact is your roofer, then the insurance company. Your roofer should be onsite when your insurance adjuster comes to inspect the damage.
Focus on creating a detailed scope of everything that was damaged in your home and what it will cost to repair or replace. This is where your roofer will come in handy. They’ll help you keep a clean record of damages and work out the cost. The next step is to review your policy and determine if the loss will be covered
If the roof damage was abrupt, accidental, or caused by a storm, don’t accept a claim denial squabble from your insurance provider. Some insurers will come up with excuses that your roof was poorly constructed or maintained. Work closely with your roofer to provide evidence of certified installation and/or routine maintenance reports.
In some situations, you may find it appropriate to work with a public adjuster. These insurance professionals have expertise and experience in dealing with insurance claims and tugs of war. They can be your best advocate in gathering information, getting an estimate, and pushing for an insurance payout to fix your roof.
Work with a Certified Roofer
At Echols Roofing we offer a myriad of roof replacement and repair options for both residential and commercial buildings. You can rely on us to inspect your roof and recommend the right course of action in readiness for storms. If you’re planning to install a new roof or replace an old one, you can use our interactive Roof Design Software to create the perfect roof for your home. Contact us today to begin the conversation with one of our professional consultants and estimators in Atlanta, GA.