What is Windstorm Insurance?
Wondering if your homeowners insurance will cover that fallen tree? It might not!
While it is not a replacement for homeowners insurance coverage, windstorm insurance is special insurance that fills the gap left by policies that do not cover wind and hail damage...including the cleanup of trees that have fallen down in a windstorm.
Some homeowners are surprised to find their policies impose separate deductibles, or require for specialized riders at an additional cost, for damage associated with windstorms, hurricanes, flooding, hail, and related damage caused by windstorms specifically.
Remember that flooding in general, which is not necessarily caused by a windstorm, is subject to a different form of coverage: flood insurance. This is a different form of coverage with its own rates and deductibles.
According to the prominent financial education website nerdwallet.com, the following states permit insurance companies to charge for additional windstorm-related insurance over and above standard homeowner’s premiums:
· New Jersey
· New York
· North Carolina
· Rhode Island
· South Carolina
In some areas, this special coverage can be difficult to come by. Look for it through your state’s Beach and Windstorm Plan. You can find this resource for residents of the State of Texas Department of Insurance here.
In Texas alone, this windstorm insurance offers over $4.2 billion in funding for hurricane season to those covered in counties along the Gulf Coast. Homeowners located in counties not immediately on the coast are not eligible for this specific program.
For those who are eligible, take note: The upcoming changes in 2021 are being considered at this time, and the financial implications are substantial. If you or someone you know is living in a coastal area, share this information to keep them informed and to give them the opportunity to make public comment. A similar program in Florida just saw rate increases of ⅓ in a year.
Shopping for better rates and coverage for your home in general? Forbes recently identified the best insurance companies in each state.
Have questions about your specific homeowner’s coverage? Call your agent… Don’t wait until a storm hits to find out what protection your plan offers.