Hurricanes and severe storms can wreak havoc on your home, especially if there is flooding and other catastrophic damage involved. A good home insurance policy is your first defense against damage to your house; however, be warned that there is certain damage not covered by most standard policies.
To make sure your house is well protected as hurricane season continues, talk with home owners insurance agents about adding additional coverage for perils not covered by your current policy.
What A Typical Home Insurance Policy Covers
The standard home insurance policy is designed to protect your house against perils most likely to affect it. They include:
- Damage caused by trees falling on your house
- Severe winds damaging your roof
- Damage caused by flying debris, vehicles, and aircraft
- Broken glass
- Smoke damage
- Other common incidents
Most policies also cover fire and hail damage, although home owners insurance agents recommend that you confirm about hail damage if you live along the Gulf Coast.
What A Standard Home Insurance Policy Does Not Cover
When it comes to damage caused by hurricanes and other severe weather systems, your standard Texas home insurance policy does not provide coverage for any type of flood damage, wind damage to trees and shrubs on your property, and mold damage or remediation unless it resulted from a water loss that is covered.
As most home owners insurance agents well know, interpretation of these exclusions can get tricky. It essentially means that while your home may be covered for wind damage caused by hurricane winds (unless you live along the Texas Gulf coast) or damage caused by a burst pipe, you are not covered for flood damage under any type of loss. In addition, any personal property damaged in your home during non-covered events are not covered.
Protecting A Home Against Potential Hurricane Damage
It’s important that houses in hurricane-prone areas be protected with the right insurance. That begins with purchasing supplemental flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. This type of policy is affordable and will be your only recourse if your house is severely damaged by flooding during a hurricane.
If you live along the Gulf Coast, wind and hail damage may not be covered by a standard home owners policy. Be sure to check with your home owners insurance agent to confirm if additional coverage should be purchased.
You should also make sure the value of your home is correctly represented on your standard home insurance policy and that you have any necessary additional coverage for your personal property. Even if you have purchased flood insurance, it only covers up to $250,000 for your house and $100,000 for personal property. If these amounts don't meet your needs, you can buy excess flood insurance for additional protection.
Home owners insurance agents stress that when it comes to hurricanes, Texas residents should seriously consider purchasing flood insurance. Since anyone can purchase flood insurance, properties outside an immediate mapped flood zone would be covered.