This is the time of the year many people are typing “Does homeowners’ insurance cover storm damage?” into their favorite search engine.
The fact is, if your home is damaged by a severe storm, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your homeowners’ insurance will cover the repairs you need.
And as tornado and thunderstorm season approaches, it’s important to check your coverage to make sure your insurance takes care of any severe weather risks that exist in your area.
Is Hail Damage Covered?
Damage from hail and lightning storms is almost always covered. Flood damage, on the other hand, is not. This can get a bit more complicated when there’s water damage caused by a rainstorm. For example, if a tree branch, wind, or hail breaks a window and water comes in and damages your floors, a standard insurance policy will cover that damage. If a surge of stormwater floods your basement, though, that wouldn’t be covered.
Do I Need to Worry About Flooding In Michigan?
If you live in an area where flooding is a risk, you might want to consider adding a flood insurance policy. As Michigan residents, it’s easy to think that flooding risk is only a major concern for people who live on the coasts. However, if your home is near a lake or river, it might be susceptible to flooding, especially when storms cause heavy rains.
In June 2021, a tornado hit Port Austin and nearby areas, including Detroit and Ann Arbor. In addition to the damaging winds, 9 or more inches of rain fell. The next month, severe storms dumped between three and four inches of additional rain on the region. Then, later that month, a storm system produced four tornadoes in lower Michigan. Michigan experienced 17 total tornadoes in 2021.
Clearly, flooding and tornado damage are significant risks for Michigan homeowners. Adding flood insurance is a good way to protect yourself financially from these storms. You can buy flood insurance either from FEMA or some private insurance companies.
Federal flood insurance covers home replacement values of up to $250,000, so you’ll need to look into private options if your home is worth more than that. Private policies can actually be less expensive, which may work out well for you and your budget. Whichever you choose, start shopping for flood insurance now if you think you might need it. Most policies have a 30-day waiting period, so make sure you sign up for a plan before flood season starts.
When Would a Weather Claim Be Denied?
Sometimes your homeowners’ claims can be denied if your insurance company thinks you were negligent in taking care of the property and that this is what caused or worsened the damage. For example, if a hailstorm damaged your roof, but your roof already needed repairs because of normal wear and tear, you might not have your claim fully covered. Staying on top of maintenance projects can prevent this from happening.
Will Storm Damage Claims Increase My Rate?
When you file multiple insurance claims within a few years, your premiums can go up. Many homeowners are concerned about this when deciding whether or not to file a claim. Your individual claim for storm damage and the overall increase in claims in your area can cause your rates to increase. However, there is always a chance that your premiums may go up as a result of a claim.
If your repair costs are significantly higher than your deductible, you shouldn’t hesitate to file a claim. Talking to your agent will help you determine the best course of action regarding a claim.
Protect Yourself From Storm Damage
To be prepared for spring and summer storms, talk to a homeowners insurance agent to make sure you’re covered for floods, hail, and tornadoes. Autumn’s independent insurance agents can review your current policy and compare it with other options. Schedule a no-obligation review today.