- There is no single insurance policy type that covers damage to your home due to a hurricane.
- In order to fully protect your home from hurricanes, you will need to purchase both homeowners insurance and flood insurance.
- You may need to purchase windstorm insurance separately in certain states.
In this article:
What is hurricane insurance?
Hurricane insurance coverage is a combination of homeowners insurance and flood insurance, since hurricanes can cause both wind and water damage. In states that exclude coverage for wind damage, you will also need windstorm insurance.
None of these three policy types alone provides all of the coverage you need to cover the damage that a hurricane can cause to your home. States in the South are most affected by hurricanes, but states along the East Coast can also be heavily affected by hurricanes.
Does home insurance cover hurricanes?
Standard home insurance is limited in the coverage it provides in the event of a hurricane, but it will cover some damages. For instance, if your roof is damaged by heavy winds from a hurricane, your home insurance policy should cover it. However, some states require you to buy windstorm insurance coverage separately.
If a hurricane rips a hole in your roof and water gets in and causes damage, most home insurers consider the damage to be done by the hole, not the hurricane itself. Water damage of this type is typically covered by homeowners insurance. But if flood water seeps into your home, neither the structure nor your belongings in the house are covered by your homeowners policy.
Windstorm insurance coverage for hurricane damage
A separate windstorm insurance policy can cover damage to the structure of your home and its contents caused by wind and hail. A windstorm insurance policy may cover detached structures, such as a garage or shed, too. Windstorm coverage also covers tornadoes and other windstorm events, along with hurricanes.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have hurricane deductibles as part of their home insurance policies. These deductibles may be higher than your regular home insurance deductible, usually somewhere between 1% and 5% of your home's insured value. In Florida, hurricane deductibles are only applied if there's damage from a hurricane named by the National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service. The states below require a hurricane deductible.
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Flood insurance coverage for hurricane damage
Standard home insurance won't cover damage from floods, but you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines a flood as an "excess of water on land that is normally dry, affecting two or more acres of land or two or more properties." Flood policies can cover damage caused by storm surges and rising water.
After a hurricane, National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance should cover the following:
- Dwelling: Flood insurance provides up to $250,000 in coverage to the physical structure of the home due to flooding. This also includes the foundation, central air conditioning equipment as well as electrical and plumbing systems.
- Content: Flood insurance covers up to $100,000 worth of your belongings, including clothing, furniture and electronics. Some valuables, such as art, may be covered up to a separate limit.
How much does hurricane insurance coverage cost?
Hurricanes require multiple types of insurance policies, so locking down a specific cost average for hurricane insurance nationwide is difficult. However, a realistic idea of what you might pay can be estimated by looking at the average costs of each policy type:
- Homeowners insurance: A standard home insurance policy costs an average of $1,903 a year, according to our research. This price may be affected by factors such as where the house is located, its age and how many claims you've filed in the past.
- Flood insurance: The average cost of flood insurance through the NFIP is $874 a year. This may be affected by which flood policy you buy and the location of your home.
- Windstorm insurance: The cost of windstorm insurance varies from state to state and is difficult to estimate, but it can be costly. For instance, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association puts the current average rate in the state at $1,850 a year.
How do I purchase hurricane insurance coverage?
Getting the hurricane insurance coverage you need requires you to go to different sources:
You can get the home insurance portion of your hurricane coverage quickly and easily online. The most practical way to get the best coverage at the best price is to compare multiple quotes from different companies.
The majority of flood insurance policies are sold through insurers taking part in the NFIP and are managed by FEMA. There are more than 50 insurance companies that can sell NFIP flood policies. You can also purchase private flood insurance.
Windstorm insurance can be purchased either through private providers or, if available, a state-sponsored FAIR or Beach plan. Keep in mind that FAIR or Beach plans may cost more than what you would pay through a private provider, and should be considered a last resort.
How to prevent damage from hurricanes
You may be able prevent hurricane damage to your home by taking these steps:
- Caulk or seal off doors and windows in your home.
- Check your roof for any openings.
- To prevent damage from objects from falling or blowing into your home, remove unsecured items and trim trees that are in your yard.
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