Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

Last year’s hurricane season hammered the southeastern United States, causing major damage to homes and businesses in multiple states and territories. For the first time ever recorded in National Weather Service history, three hurricanes classified as Category 4 – Harvey, Irma and Maria – made landfall in the United States. This record-breaking hurricane activity also made September of 2017 the most active month ever recorded in the history Atlantic hurricanes. Naturally, the 2017 hurricane season was also the costliest season on record. And while the numbers are still coming in, preliminary damages are said to amount to approximately $292.23 billion.

Many of the people who were affected by the hurricanes were under the impression that their homeowners’ insurance would cover the resulting damage. While homeowners’ insurance does cover some types of hurricane damage, it offers no guarantee against major losses for those affected by a major storm like those mentioned above. While flooding of any kind is not a covered peril, homeowners’ insurance does cover many other common hurricane-related damages. However, in special cases, it is best for them to have a specialized hurricane insurance policy in addition to their homeowners’ policy.

Wind and Hail

Most standard homeowner policies cover wind damages such as when a roof is blown off by strong winds, a tree falls onto a house or debris flying around during a storm breaks windows. However, if the damage doesn’t exceed the deductible amount or is strictly cosmetic, the homeowners’ policy may not cover it.

Hail damage is also included in a standard homeowners’ policy, and hail damage is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims. A hailstorm can cause significant damage to the roof of a home, leaving it vulnerable to rain later on, so it’s important to make repairs as quickly as possible.

Lightning and Fire

Lightning is a common occurrence throughout a hurricane. A lightning strike to a home can ruin sensitive electronics or electrical systems, create a fire inside or outside the home, and even injure residents inside the home. On the bright side, lightning, as well as fire that was caused by lightning, are covered as perils in almost every standard homeowners insurance policy, with no exclusions.

Theft and Vandalism

After a hurricane, theft and vandalism often increase due to reduced occupancy, lack of regular police patrol, desperation or just general mischievousness. Both of these perils are typically covered under a standard homeowners’ policy, however there may be exclusions, so homeowners should provide as much proof of either of these crimes as possible to ensure their claims will be covered.

About Wilmington Insurance Agency

Wilmington Insurance Agency delivers comprehensive coastal property solutions. We are a Managing General Agency and provide independent insurance agents with property and liability insurance solutions for residents and businesses primarily in Maryland and Virginia. We work alongside our sister company, Wilmington Insurance Company, established in 1996 and providing Property & Casualty commercial lines business, homeowners, and condominium insurance in the state of Delaware. To learn more about how we can help you to expand your book of business in the coastal market, contact us at (302) 231-2800.