Hurricane Season and Homeowners Insurance
Dan Levenson August 04, 2020
Hurricane season is here! Every year, homeowners near the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean brace themselves for a round of tropical storms that can be incredibly destructive — even deadly. If you’re here because you’re a homeowner, wondering if your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover hurricanes, you’re in the right place. We’ll answer all of your questions.
If you have homeowners insurance questions deeper than the scope of this article, please contact us. Now, let’s get right to the point: does homeowners insurance cover hurricanes?
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?
Not specifically. Understand that homeowner’s insurance policies are built on the concept of fire coverage. They exist to replace the home you live in and it’s contents, if it burns down.
What is Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?
Beyond fire, there are other coverages included on most policies that will pay for damage from:
- Civil Unrest & Riot
- Malicious Mischief
- And other specific conditions — like equipment breakdown or aircraft accidents.
Depending on your state and your homeowner’s insurance provider, there may be more coverages. But you’ll notice some perils rarely covered by homeowner’s insurance: floods, earthquakes and nuclear war.
Why Flood Isn’t Covered on a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Why aren’t floods covered by a traditional homeowner’s policy? Because they’re HUGE! Floods aren’t like a home fire that will burn down a few buildings, or even a block. When a flood happens — from a tsunami on the coast, or a hurricane, or whatever reason — they cause billions of dollars of damage — enough damage to push an insurer to insolvency.
- Put another way, if homeowner’s insurance covered floods, insurers would be put out of business after paying claims.
You can see how the same reasoning applies to serious events like earthquakes and nuclear attacks.
There are ways to purchase flood insurance, through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and some private insurers. Talk to a licensed insurance agent at InsureYourHome.com if you need to know more.
But not all hurricane damage is flood damage! So, depending on the type of damage, you may be covered for hurricane damages. Let’s take a closer look.
Two Homeowners, One Flood
Jacksonville is a coastal Florida city prone to hurricanes and flooding. We’ll imagine two homeowners in Jacksonville, both using the same insurer for their homeowner’s insurance. They both take reasonable actions to prevent damage to their homes as a hurricane draws near. Both houses suffer significant loss as the hurricane rages through town, but thankfully, no one is hurt.
The damage to Home A includes:
- Broken windows, from debris being thrown at the home by wind
- Roof and wall damage, from tree branches being dropped on the home
- Damage to carpets and furniture, from rain coming in the broken windows
- And a small electrical fire caused by lightning does damage in the kitchen
Traditional homeowner’s insurance covers all these issues (after a deductible, of course). Furthermore, this homeowner might have extra living expenses covered. He or she could stay in a hotel and pay for meals while the home is repaired.
The damage to Home B includes:
- Flood damage from coastal waters, to the exterior of the home and the porch
- Flood water damage to the interior like carpets and furniture
A homeowner’s insurance policy will NOT cover these issues. Hopefully, this homeowner bought an additional flood insurance policy to protect the home.
What Homeowners Need to Know About Hurricanes and Insurance
Ultimately, homeowners need to know that homeowner’s insurance will cover many, but not all, situations that can damage a home. If you’re concerned about flood damage, talk to a licensed agent at InsureYourHome.com about purchasing additional flood insurance. We’d love to get you a zero-pressure quote today!