Updated September 3, 2018 . AmFam Team
Mother Nature can cause a wide variety of damage to your home. But the good news is you have homeowners insurance to protect you from costly damage that results from the unexpected — and that includes damage from things like straight-line wind and storms. How you’re protected depends on what kind of damage was done and what caused it. We’ve highlighted everything you need to know about storm damage and your homeowners insurance, so you can have confidence in your coverage.
Is storm damage covered by insurance? Your home insurance typically covers damage from storms and offers protection for the following types of events:
What exactly is wind damage? Your homeowners insurance covers dwelling, other structure and personal property damage caused by windstorms. This includes coverage for your home’s structure, like damage to your roof due to wind, and coverage for your personal property, like if a window breaks due to hail and rain ruins your new TV.
A straight-line wind is similar to a tornado in the level of damage it can cause, but instead of forming a funnel, they travel in straight lines. You can tell if it’s straight-line wind damage versus a tornado if the aftermath has downed trees and other damage in parallel rows, whereas tornado damage is more scattered.
Wind almost always damages the weakest areas of a home. After a storm, you can look for specific types of damage, like:
If hail causes damage to the exterior of your home, your dwelling coverage helps cover the cost to repair or replace the damage, up to your policy limit.
However, your home’s detached structures, such as a fence, garage, gazebo or swimming pool, may only have limited coverage from your base policy. In order to properly protect them from hail damage, you may want to consider adding coverage for your detached structures. Here’s a closer look at how you can protect your detached structures.
Lightning can cause serious damage to your home, including fire and damage to your electronic devices. Fortunately, your home insurance covers lightning-damaged electronics and other personal property, and your dwelling coverage protects the structure of your home if lightning causes a fire.
Fallen trees from weight of snow, ice dams and frozen pipes are common causes of ice and snow damage to your home from winter storms like blizzards. Thankfully, your homeowners insurance covers damages from instances like these.
Though your homeowners policy doesn’t cover you for natural disasters like earthquakes or floods, there are options available for you to obtain coverage on these events.
By adding earthquake coverage to your homeowners policy, you get an extra layer of protection that kicks in where your basic coverage ends. It helps protect your home, garage and other structures on your property, fences, driveway, sidewalk and other permanently installed yard fixtures, construction materials on your premises for use in your home and your personal property. Find out more about how earthquake coverage protects your home from the unexpected.
Floods are another natural disaster that aren’t covered by your homeowners policy, but American Family conveniently offers flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. If you live in a flood-prone area or just want peace of mind, consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your home, your personal property and everything else that makes your home uniquely yours. Keep reading to find out why flood insurance matters.
Do you need to file an insurance claim for storm damage to your home? Head to our storm claims page to find out everything you need to know about filing a storm damage insurance claim, wind damage insurance claim and more with American Family.
To further protect your home from storm damage, consider purchasing add-on coverages like below that enhance the coverage included within your base homeowners policy. These coverages provide additional layers of protection beyond your base policy to help cover more of the cost of damage and repair. Some additional coverages available include:
Roof replacement cost value coverage. Your home insurance is designed to help cover the replacement of your roof if it’s damaged by a covered loss. But the amount you’ll receive for your damaged roof depends on if you have actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV). Having roof replacement cost value coverage means you’re covered for what it’d cost to replace your roof today. So, if you face a covered event, we’ll reimburse you for the full amount to repair or replace your roof, minus your deductible.
Matching siding coverage. While your homeowners insurance replaces siding damage from specific types of losses, like damage from wind, it only covers the parts of your home that are damaged. By adding matching siding coverage, you’ll be reimbursed for up to $20,000 of the costs for replacing the remaining undamaged siding so everything matches. Find out why matching siding insurance is more important than you’d think.
Sump pump coverage. Your sump pump is designed to remove excess water that accumulates around your home’s foundation. If the system ever fails or the power goes out, water overflow may occur. And you're typically not covered for this type of damage with your homeowners insurance. Having water backup and sump pump overflow coverage gives you that important layer of protection.
Ready to get the protection you need and the peace of mind you deserve? Connect with an American Family agent (Opens in a new tab) to learn how you can better protect your home from storm damage — they’ll make sure you have the right coverage in place.