Adverse weather elements are some of the worst threats to your roofs. Home insurance coverage can compensate for some, but not all, weather-related damage. Knowing the intricacies of weather-related coverage helps you to protect your home better. Below are a few things you should know about the coverage.
Factors That Determine Coverage
Coverage for weather-related damage varies a lot. Below are some factors that determine coverage.
Primary Damage Cause
Many policies cover some forms of weather damage and exclude others. The primary weather event or element that causes the damage determines coverage. For example, many policies include coverage for windstorm damage but exclude coverage for flooding damage.
Home insurance covers sudden damages but not gradual ones. The rationale is that sudden damage is accidental, while gradual damage is a maintenance or wear and tear issue. Many insurance companies will reject claims you file long after the damage starts. Insurance companies reason that such damages are due to maintenance failure.
Type of Claim
Most weather-related claims stem from property damage. However, weather can also cause injuries that trigger third-party liability claims. For example, a visitor can file an injury claim against you after slipping and falling on your slippery walkway. Many insurance companies cover such claims even if they don't cover the related damage claim.
Some areas have extremely high risks of specific weather damages that would cost insurance companies costly losses. Insurance companies usually exclude such extreme risks. For example, some insurance companies exclude windstorm coverage for properties in areas with frequent destructive winds.
Each insurance company is free to design its policy as it pleases as long as it is within the law. Thus, insurance policies greatly vary by company. Thus, your insurance company or policy determines whether you can claim weather-related damage.
What to Do
Many insurance companies allow you to customize and enhance your coverage. Here are a few tips that will help.
Understand the common weather elements in your area that can damage your home. Reviewing the local climate and disasters in the last few years can help.
Review Your Policy
Review your current insurance policy to understand its coverage and exclusions. Talk to your insurance agent or company to clarify areas you don't understand. Check if your policy covers the risks you want it to cover.
Buy Relevant Add-Ons
Many insurance companies offer additional coverage in the form of riders or add-ons. Buy additional coverage if your policy excludes some risks you would like covered.
For more information, contact a home insurance agent near you.