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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage after a Hurricane?

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Floor dryers in home If you find that a hurricane has left your home with water damage, make sure to call SERVPRO of Mandarin for help!

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage after a Hurricane?

If you live in Florida, you’ve probably experienced more than your fair share of hurricanes. If you’ve never dealt with damage to your home during a storm, you probably don’t know what to expect. What exactly does homeowners’ insurance cover? Do you need to get supplemental insurance if you live in a hurricane-prone area?

First, understand that there’s no specific hurricane insurance policy. However, standard homeowner’s insurance will cover some of the damage caused by hurricanes (wind-driven rain). One thing that’s typically not covered is flooding (rising water) from a hurricane, but that’s not the only exclusion. People who live in hurricane-prone areas would be wise to purchase supplemental hurricane coverage. Let’s look at how insurance companies usually address the various aspects of hurricane damage.

  • Wind damage is typically covered by a homeowners insurance policy’s dwelling coverage. However, in regions prone to hurricanes, wind coverage is often excluded. Take a close look at your home insurance declarations page to determine whether you should purchase additional windstorm insurance.
  • Water damage is a complicated issue. Almost all homeowner’s insurance policies exclude flooding due to natural disasters. This means that water damage from flooding or storm surge (both examples of rising water) that comes along with a hurricane, almost certainly will not be covered. There are some unusual things that could happen in a hurricane, like windows breaking and allowing rain to damage your belongings, and these things sometimes fall under personal property coverage. However, having additional wind and flood insurance in place is the best way to make sure you’re covered.
  • What does flood insurance cover? Homeowners living in a flood-prone region should opt for flood coverage in addition to their homeowner’s insurance. In fact, in many of these areas, flood insurance is required as a term of the mortgage. You can purchase a flood insurance policy from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but it won’t cover damage to landscaping or decks, pay for living expenses, or apply to more than $250,000 of dwelling coverage. NFIP policies also tend to exclude basement flooding, so it may benefit you to look into flood insurance from a private company.
  • Sewer backup may or may not be covered. For instance, if there’s sewer backup because a hurricane has flooded the sewer, you’ll want to have sewer backup insurance and flood coverage, in addition to your home insurance policy. This protects you even if the adjusters decide that your regular policy will not.
  • Leaving your home is only covered after the storm. In other words, evacuating your home to avoid the hurricane doesn’t entitle you to reimbursement from the insurance company for living expenses. If your house becomes unlivable after the storm, your policy’s additional living expenses portion will pay for a hotel and some other expenses.

If you find that a hurricane has left your home with water damage, make sure to call SERVPRO of Mandarin for help. Our highly-trained restoration technicians have the experience and equipment to restore your North Florida area property and get everything back to normal. With more than 40 years of experience in water damage restoration, we’re a trusted leader in the industry. Call (904) 638-2495.

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