What Is Windstorm Insurance?
Windstorm insurance is a special type of property-casualty insurance that protects policyholders from property damage caused by windstorms. Windstorm insurance is usually offered in the form of a rider on a standard casualty insurance policy through the extended coverage endorsement. It is one of the subsets of storm insurance.
Windstorm Insurance Explained
Windstorm insurance covers the types of windstorms, such as hurricanes and cyclones, not typically covered in standard homeowners' insurance policies. Those who live in areas susceptible to this type of peril must purchase this additional coverage to protect themselves. Residents of coastal states and midwestern states, where tornadoes are common, fall into this category.
Windstorm insurance will typically cover physical damages to the property and personal belongings inside the home. Many policies also include coverage for detached structures such as garages and sheds. When big winds harm roofs and windows, rain and debris can cause additional damage. In such cases, most policies will cover repairs as long as the claim is filed soon after the event.
Sometimes, windstorms are followed by storm surges and flooding, but windstorm insurance will not typically cover damage caused by these rising waters. Flood insurance coverage must be purchased separately, and it takes 30 days to go into effect.
Windstorm insurance will not cover damages to a vehicle that may occur if a tree falls on it or if it is damaged by blowing debris. A person must have a comprehensive auto policy in place to cover this type of damage.
Windstorm Insurance After a Storm
In order to file a windstorm insurance claim, a policyholder must take certain steps to get the coverage for which it is entitled. Most important is to act quickly. Many policies limit the time frame in which you can file a claim for storm damage. Often, this is because failure to fix problems can lead to more damage later.
Immediately after a windstorm, a windstorm insurance policyholder should:
- Record the storm date and save news articles about the storm as proof.
- Assess and record all damage that you see from the ground with pictures and/or video.
- Have at least two reputable contractors inspect the property and provide written estimates for damages.
- Contact the claims department of your insurance carrier, provide all information you have gathered and request a visit from a claims adjuster.
- Ask one of the contractors to be present during the insurance adjuster’s inspection to ensure a fair assessment.
- If a claim is denied, remember that policyholders are entitled to meet with three different insurance adjusters. Request another evaluation.