Part 1: Hurricanes
Natural disasters. These words can send shivers down your spine. It seems like every day we hear about another natural disaster as they seem to rise to Biblical proportions: hurricanes, tropical storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.
As a homeowner, just because you may have home insurance, it doesn’t mean you will necessarily be covered in the case of a natural disaster with your current policy. You may be wondering, “How can that be?” Well, let’s find out together as we look at the most common natural disasters that hit the United States each year.
Will your homeowners protect you from Hurricanes?
Normally when you think of hurricanes you think of coastal towns like Galveston, Texas. The facts are though that hurricane winds can cause damage to cities that may normally not be prone to hurricane damage. For example, all you have to say is the name “Sandy” and now you have New York and New Jersey paying close attention too.
In your own case, what would happen if hurricane-like winds from a tropical storm hit your town? Would you be protected? The facts are that your standard home policy should protect your home from the excessive wind damage.
Whew! Comforting, right? But, before you take a vacation during hurricane season, pay attention to the following:
While your homeowners will typically protect you from excessive wind damage, you as the homeowner are held responsible for preventing the damage from getting worse.
Sample Scenario: Your windows are blown out by hurricane winds while you are out of town on vacation.
No one is there to block up your windows with plywood and tarps. Your damage now becomes worse due to rain, vandalism or theft. You call your agent when you get back home to make a homeowners claim. You bite your lip as you wait to hear from them. Then, you get the call: Partial Denial of the claim. What? How can that be? The answer is that you didn’t do something to prevent the damage from getting worse.
What is the answer?
- Don’t go out of town during a hurricane watch.
- If you do have to go out of town, have a responsible friend or family member keep a watch on your home. Authorize them to immediately protect your home in the case of storm damage.
- Call the insurance company at the first sign or news of storm damage.
We hope you found these suggestions helpful to prevent your home from unnecessarily suffering damage that is not covered by your insurance company.
In part 2 of this series, we discuss tornadoes and hailstorms.