Storm Damage Insurance FAQs

Q: Am I required to have homeowners insurance?

A: It is always smart to have a good homeowners insurance policy, even if you don't owe any money on your home. If you have a mortgage, home equity loan, or use your home as collateral, your lender will require you to maintain insurance.


Q: Are all homeowners insurance policies the same?

A: There are many different types of insurance policies. Levels of coverage, exclusions and limits of liability vary greatly. Some policies provide basic coverage, while others offer broad coverage and high levels of protection.


Q: Does my homeowners insurance cover all types of storm damage?

A: It depends on your policy. Most homeowners insurance policies cover storms including hail, tornado and wind damage. But, floods and earthquakes usually require additional coverage. It is always smart to check your policy to see exactly what is covered.


Q: Is replacement cost the same as the sale price of my home?

A: Not necessarily. The replacement cost is the actual cost to rebuild your home in the event it is completely destroyed, which may be more or less than the market value, or sale price.


Q: What does a homeowners insurance policy cover?

A: Homeowners insurance covers the repair or replacement of your home and its contents up to defined limits. Your policy may also include a liability policy, which protects you in the event someone is injured on your property due to your negligence.


Q: What are the various types of coverage included in a homeowners policy?

A: To determine the types of coverage you have, check the declarations page of your insurance policy. Types of coverage are as follows:

  • Coverage A - Damage to your home
  • Coverage B - Damage to other structures including garage, deck or swimming pool
  • Coverage C - Loss or damage to the contents of your home
  • Coverage D - Loss of use in case your home is not inhabitable
  • Coverage E - Personal liability to third parties
  • Coverage F - Medical payments to third parties

Q: Who pays for living expenses when my home is being repaired after a storm?

A: Your insurance company will pay for loss of use, in the case that your home is uninhabitable after it has been damaged by a storm, up to applicable limits.


Q: Does my policy cover tornado, wind and hail damage?

A: Most standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage done by tornado, windstorms and hailstorms. Check your policy for limits and details.


Q: What is not covered by homeowners insurance?

A: Earthquakes, floods and other named exclusions and usually require separate coverage. Normal wear and tear and poor maintenance is not covered by insurance.


Q: Will my insurance cover the cost of tree removal after a severe storm?

A: Most policies cover the cost of tree removal after a storm, however, you should check your policy. Some insurance companies require a separate tree removal policy.


Q: Will my homeowners insurance cover damage to cars on my property?

A: No. Damage to your car is not covered by your homeowners policy, even if a tree on your property falls and damages your car. Damage to your car is covered by your comprehensive auto insurance policy.


Q: If I file a storm damage claim, will my premiums go up?

A: Most states prohibit insurance companies canceling your coverage or singling you out for a rate increase due to an Act of God damage claim.


Q: Will my homeowners policy cover earthquake damage?

A: Not unless your policy specifically includes coverage for earthquakes. In most cases you'll need a separate insurance policy to cover earthquake and flood damage.

The National Storm Damage Center provides everything you need to prepare for and recover from severe storm damage.