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Wind Storm Insurance
Although most homeowners insurance covers wind storm damage, some state insurance companies have removed certain windstorm insurance from standard policies in high-risk areas. Traditionally windstorm insurance protects against damage caused by tornadoes and hurricane-strength winds. Homes in areas in which the risks from windstorms are higher than most, homeowners are usually required or encouraged to purchase additional windstorm insurance. Such areas are usually classified as hurricane zones and occur in coastal areas.
Location of Private Insurance Companies with Wind Storm Insurance
Some states have private insurance companies that sell specialty “wind and hail” insurance coverage to homeowners in high-risk areas. There are some states in which no private windstorm insurance is available. In these states, the government has created a state-sponsored windstorm insurance pool that provides specialty insurance to those living in high-risk areas. Some of these states include:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Wind Storm Insurance Coverage
Homeowners are encouraged to read through the specifics of their home insurance policy. Some policies have specialty coverage regarding weather-related damage and most cover damage caused by minor natural events. Most policies, however, exclude certain weather conditions from the policy coverage. In high-risk areas wind damage is sometimes excluded, or higher degrees of wind damage (such as hurricanes) are excluded.
Windstorm insurance is a separate insurance policy from the regular homeowners insurance and therefore requires a separate premium and deductible. Windstorm insurance requires separate classifications of wind damage in order for the policy to cover damage. These classifications are related to what are called “trigger” events. Such events include:
- A “hurricane watch” issued by the National Hurricane Center
- Winds sustained over 74 miles per hour as detected by the National Weather Service
- A specific geographic location (longitude/latitude) for a declared hurricane
Tornado damage may or may not be covered by individual policies and homeowners who are concerned about wind damage from tornadoes should contact their insurance agent to inquire about the specifics of their policy.
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