MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Lori Madden, MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
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5 Facts About Severe Weather Damage & Homeowners Insurance

by Lori Madden 03/15/2020

Photo by Peter from Pexels

When everyday people take out a homeowners' insurance policy, there is an expectation that you enjoy secure coverage in the event of a loss. That sigh of relief many people experience when signing off on a policy may be an illusion, to some extent. That’s because not every severe weather event is covered in standard policies.

If you are not mindful of what losses are covered, as well as those that are not, you could find yourself paying to repair catastrophic damage out-of-pocket. In order to avoid a personal financial tragedy on top of a damaged home, consider the following facts about severe weather damage, and promptly check your policy.

1: Severe Wind Damage Usually Covered

Standard homeowners policies generally cover damage caused by high winds. This may include tornadoes and hurricanes in many areas of the country. Policies often include structural damage, such as roofs and siding, among others. And, most will pay for losses such as personal items, fencing and even automobiles if you bundle your insurance. The caveat is that areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, such as the Gulf Coast and Southwest, frequently charge a premium to include a severe wind rider.

2: Damage From Hail Can Be Tricky

Although the majority of policies routinely cover hail damage, it’s not unusual to have an additional deductible on such claims. That’s because hail damage to roofs, automobiles and others rank among the most prevalent claims. Insurance companies are acutely aware of profits and losses.

3: Lightning Strikes Tend To Be Standard

Although the odds of you personally being struck by lightning are approximately 1 in 280,000, the chances of your home being hit are far greater. Upwards of 25 million lightning strokes touch ground in the U.S. each year, from about 100,000 thunderstorms. According to some math whizzes, the calculable odds come in at 1 in 200 homes annually. In reality, a reported 77,898 claims were filed in 2018, averaging $11,668 in losses. The good news is that insurance overwhelming covers lightning hits and any fire damage that ensues.

4: Consider “Flood Insurance” A Catch-All Phrase

If you live in a flood plain or nearby one, adding a flood insurance rider can be a significant additional expense. Even policies for homes outside a flood-prone area generally do not cover such damage without a rider. But what’s unique about flood insurance is that it may be lumped in with damage caused by water pipes that burst in your home. In terms of the way people generally think about “floods,” that is not a common understanding. It’s also important to note that insurance adjusters may reject such claims if they find evidence that proper upkeep measures were not taken.

5: Sewer Backups Caused By Heavy Rain May Not Be Fully Covered

Although plenty of policies cover the damage caused by the sewer backing up, they often do not cover replacing sewer lines and other items associated with the system. Replacing a sewer can routinely cost upwards of $20,000. It may be in your best interest to review that area of your policy and increase coverage.

Obviously, severe weather coverage can be complicated, and it’s difficult for the average homeowner to wade through the technical language used in today’s policies. Yes, they are widely written by attorneys and rife with legal jargon. But it’s crucial to your home, family and financial future to have the secure severe weather coverage you deserve. It may be time to dive into that policy and ask questions about what’s in it and what’s not. After that, you may genuinely be able to enjoy that sigh of relief.

About the Author
Author

Lori Madden

As a Florida native growing up in Sarasota, I have seen my hometown grow from a sleepy coastal town to a highly sought-after destination along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. After working in Chicago for 5 years, I returned to Sarasota and saw it through a new lens and really began to appreciate what makes Sarasota so desirable, including temperatures that allow for year round outdoor activities including tennis (a personal favorite), golf, boating, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing and/or shelling on our pristine sandy shores, including Dr. Beach’s #1 beach in the United States for 2017, Siesta Key! Sarasota’s cultural amenities are many and diverse, appealing to a wide range of arts lovers. Downtown Sarasota has become a destination in itself, drawing many new developments for those who want to be within walking distance of Main Street's offerings and the picturesque bayfront and marina. Foodies will find an eclectic mix of locally owned and operated restaurants offering something for everyone, and there are now Farmers Markets every day of the week in various locations throughout Sarasota, but the Saturday morning Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota draws the biggest crowds. Since 1988, my passion has been selling real estate, representing both buyers and sellers. I have been recognized by my clients and customers for an uncompromising work ethic and dedication to helping them achieve their real estate goals. Relying on my experience as a real estate paralegal and being highly organized, I am able to help make the transition between contract and closing a smooth one for my clients. With an eye for interior and landscape design, I've been known to pitch in and help Sellers minimize and/or reorganize their belongings in order to stage their home to maximize its sale potential. I specialize in out of state buyers looking for their piece of paradise along the Gulf Coast and make it a priority to keep them up to date on our quickly changing local real estate market. I welcome the opportunity to share with you all Sarasota and her surrounding islands have to offer!