So, being in Atlanta, we certainly get our fair share of storms. Those thunderstorms can be scary, what with the lightning storms, kabooms, and swaying trees (there are a LOT of trees in Georgia.) We often want to hunker down inside under a blanket with a cup of cocoa when that happens, and we want to stay safe and sound. But what about the house? What if your house takes a beating during a storm? Well, home insurance can help. We’ll explain about how storm damage could be covered by home insurance.
What storm damage losses can be covered by home insurance?
Well, let us start by saying that it’s very important to read your home insurance policy. It’ll outline what losses are covered and which are not. It’s important that you’re clear about how your policy protects your home and what your responsibilities are as the insured. Don’t underestimate the importance of slogging through your policy. It’s maybe not “fun” but losses related to storms can get tricky, so it’s necessary.
Anyways, let’s move along. What storm damage losses are typically covered by home insurance?
Lightning is scary. If your home is struck by lightning and catches fire, home insurance may cover it. As far-fetched as that might sound, it does happen. It just does. But that’s where home insurance can become a lifesaver. (And in case you were wondering, a power surge that happens because of lightning can also be covered.)
Storm-level winds can put a beating on your house. Have you ever noticed that the trees bend and sway like crazy when a storm hits? Georgia storms are no joke, but thankfully home insurance may cover wind damage.
Hail? In Georgia?
If your house gets caught in the line of fire of dastardly chunks of ice, home insurance could cover you. Hail can really pummel your roof and siding, after all. But hey – home insurance may cover it!
If a bad storm causes a tree to fall onto your house, you could be covered. Trees don’t really know how to be considerate and fall away from houses and fences, so there’s that. Anyways, whether it’s your tree or a neighbor’s tree that crashes into your home, you could be covered. Then you get to have the last laugh, not the dumb tree.
Rain that blows into your house because of damage caused by wind.
Let’s say wind puts a major beating on your house and leaves some holes that allow that wind to blow rain into your house. Home insurance could cover you for the water damage that results. Phew.
What’s NOT covered by home insurance: Flooding
One thing you need to be aware of is that flooding is not covered by home insurance. (In this case, when we say “flooding” we mean that a lot of water has accumulated on the ground outside where there usually isn’t water.) Heavy Georgia rains can get intense, so it’s important to be aware and prepared. Many homeowners find out that flooding is excluded after they’ve experienced a loss, and then it’s too late. Even if you’re not in a “flood-prone” area, necessarily, you could still find yourself on the wrong side of floodwaters.
But not all hope is lost. You can protect yourself by getting flood insurance, which you can get through the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program). Make sure that you get enough coverage for your home and your belongings – and keep in mind that flood insurance often has a waiting period of 30 days before it becomes effective, with very few exceptions.
Recap about storm damage:
So – to recap about storm damage…
Home insurance may cover wind damage, hail, lightning, falling trees, and even wind-driven water that enters your home if the roof or walls have been damaged. It won’t, however, cover flooding, so you may want to consider flood insurance, which you can get from the NFIP through an agent. Read your policy so you know what your insurance covers and what your responsibilities are if you have a claim.
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