Did you know that the US records an average of 1,000 tornadoes each year? On top of that are 10 tropical storms that brew along the US coast. Of these storms, six reach intense wind speeds upgrading them into devastating hurricanes.
Unfortunately, typical homeowners’ policies don’t cover wind damage caused by these disasters. However, windstorm insurance does.
This guide covers the basics of windstorm coverage, so read on to learn what it can protect you from.
What Is Windstorm Insurance?
Windstorm insurance is a type of natural disasters insurance coverage. It’s an insurance rider that protects homeowners from the hazards of gusty phenomena. These include damages caused by gales, high winds, tornadoes, and hail storms.
Windstorm coverage is not a typical inclusion in standard home policies. That’s why you need to purchase it as a separate policy or in the form of an insurance rider. It’s only an add-on and not meant to replace a full homeowners’ insurance policy.
Moreover, windstorm insurance may be mandatory depending on where you live. An example is Texas, where over a dozen counties have windstorm insurance requirements. Florida, Hawaii, and New York are some of the many other states that may require this type of rider.
Is Windstorm Insurance the Same As Hurricane Insurance?
No. Hurricane insurance usually only covers damage caused by a named hurricane. A named hurricane, in turn, is a named tropical storm having a sustained wind speed of no less than 74 miles per hour.
For a tropical storm to get a name, it must be a tropical cyclone with a sustained wind speed of 39 mph to under 74 mph. If this is the kind that hits your home, hurricane insurance won’t cover the wind damage it caused.
By contrast, windstorm insurance covers damages caused by high winds from tropical storms. It helps pay for the repairs of a home damaged by the wind of both hurricanes and non-hurricane events.
What Kind of Damages Does Windstorm Insurance Cover?
Windstorm insurance typically provides coverage for physical wind damage to the property itself. For example, if parts of your roof get blown away by strong winds, your rider should cover it. The same goes for if parts of your home get struck by objects carried by the wind.
Personal belongings also receive protection against wind damage.
What About Flood Damage?
Windstorm insurance usually doesn’t provide flood damage coverage. For example, suppose a huge storm ripped off part of your roof, creating a hole and letting water flood your home. In this case, windstorm insurance will only pay for the roof repairs, but not the flood damage.
Fortunately, many insurers sell both windstorm and flood insurance riders. Consider buying both types of coverage from the same company, as they may offer you a discount.
Weather the Storm With Windstorm Insurance
Consider investing in windstorm insurance, even if you don’t live on the coast or a storm-risk area. After all, there’s the matter of climate change possibly intensifying tropical cyclones. That should be enough reason to get extra protection for your home against gusty hazards.
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