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Questions to ask your insurance before storm season

For those who are living in areas that are prone to seeing frequent weather disasters it is always important to check up on the home insurance policy to make sure that the coverage is up to date. There are instances where policy holders thought they had coverage for certain instances only to later find out that the coverage wasn’t there when they needed it. It is always best to look over your insurance before storm season to be sure the insurance is going to cover you if you do get hit with a storm.

How can you be sure you are covered with your insurance policy?

There are certain things to look for if you are going to determine that your insurance is suitable for any storm season property damage issues that you might face. Here are a few to consider: is there any storm deductibles, do you have flood insurance coverage, is there enough coverage in general, do you have full replacement cost or is there a cap?

Knowing this information ahead of time can help you to be prepared and to know whether or not you might need to go looking for some extra coverage. 

Do you have a home inventory list?

If you were to experience a storm that caused property damage would you be able to recall everything valuable in the home? Most often you might forget an item or two, or three. This is why it can be vital to have a home inventory list. The inventory list can be used to compile the valuable assets if you are looking to claim losses from the storm. Having that documentation of your belongings can save you a great deal of time.

What are common types of damage from a storm?

  • roof damage to the home
  •  window damage
  • siding damage
  • flooding
  • windstorm damage

The damage inflicted from the storm can come in multiple ways. One of the most common types of damage is water damage and this is something that many might face is a storm hits. There is risk to seeing extensive property damage and for that reason it is important to be prepared and that means looking over the insurance policy ahead of time. Not all insurance policies are going to provide coverage for flood damage.

Do you have enough coverage if a storm hits?

Most policies are not going to provide a full replacement cost for the home or other damage and in many cases you might see a cap. However, there is options to find guaranteed replacement cost insurance too. As well, some policies might also offer compensation for increases in material costs due to shortages after a storm as well, this is another policy element to check up on if you want to make sure you’ve got well rounded coverage.

How can you be sure your insurance policy is enough?

Looking into your policy can help you to determine what coverage you might have currently and where you could be short. If your policy doesn’t offer RCV or replacement cost value for example then you might not be able to get full compensation to replace the item with a new property of the same kind and quality.

Some insurance policy options will only offer actual cash value or ACV for your property, which means you might see less money because it accounts for depreciation depending on how long you have had it for. Which sort do you have in your current policy? You might value one over the other for storm coverage, asking about this with regard to your policy can help you to determine if you need to find more coverage.

An Omaha homeowner meeting with his insurance agent.

What is your deductible?

This is one of the most important things to determine for your insurance policy in the event that you might need to seek and use that coverage. Are there going to be any costly deductibles that you must face? The policyholder is required to meet that deductible out of pocket and these fees can often range from 2 to 5% on average.

What storm coverage is best?

For storms that might cause damage to the property there are several types of insurance to consider. Is there a hurricane deductible, do you have flood insurance? Are you covered for windstorm damage? Is there a storm deductible? These are a few common considerations for policy coverage.

Overland Water Coverage On Your Policy

Another element of your policy to consider would be overland water coverage insurance in some cases, which typically refers to water that originates from fresh bodies of water like rivers or lakes. This can be different from traditional flood insurance and therefore if you don’t have overland water coverage then you might not have insurance to cover those types of flooding scenarios. Check to be sure that you do.

Waiting Period For Coverage After a Storm

If there is a storm and you suffer property damage then it is also vital to know what the waiting period might be before you could see compensation and start to rebuild. This can vary with policies for storm insurance so it is important to determine what waiting period you might be facing before you could see an insurance payout that is needed.

Can you get any discounts from your insurance policy?

In some cases there are options to pursue a discount on the insurance policy. This can be done by looking for incentives that might be there for strengthening your home. For example, installing shutters might provide some discount on the premium. There are a few things that homeowners might do that could lower that insurance premium and it is worth asking about any discounts that could be available for taking measures to strengthen the home.

 You do not want to find out after the storm that you were not covered. Take the time beforehand to look over your policy and know that you are going to have that coverage when you need it. The best part about looking over things ahead of time is that you can change it if you find that you need more coverage. Taking that extra time can help you to find and secure the needed coverage to provide a safety net in the event that a storm does cause some serious issues for your home.

Common FAQ:

  • Ask if there are any exclusions in your policy that you might not be covered for
  • What does the process look like to file a claim?
  • What efforts should you take to protect your home before a storm hits?
  • Does my homeowners insurance cover a flood?
  • Does my homeowners insurance cover any type of flooding?
  • What are my homeowners insurance coverage options?
  • What scenarios are covered under my insurance policy if a storm hits?
  • How can I get the best rate?
  • Do I have to pay a deductible?
  • Is there a waiting period for payout?

In This Article...

Key Takeaways

Questions to ask your insurance provider

    • How can I get the best rate?
    • What does the process look like to file a claim?

    • Does my homeowners insurance cover a flood?

    • What are my homeowners insurance coverage options?

    • What scenarios are covered under my insurance policy if a storm hits?

    • Do I have to pay a deductible?

    • Is there a waiting period for payout?

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