Wind and hail combined are the #1 cause for personal property damage in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). Any type of wind that can cause light damage to trees, buildings, homes or other property is considered a windstorm. Most people only think of wind damage associated with tropical storms and hurricanes, but a windstorm can be generated by a thunderstorm or a strong cold front.
Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover wind damage to your property. Home insurance policies also typically include windstorm coverage but require a separate deductible for wind damage caused by named tropical cyclones as designated by the National Weather Service. It is important to note that flood damage from a storm requires a separate policy. NOTE that you cannot secure coverage once a storm has been named or predicted, which is why it is important to thoroughly review your coverages before storm season.
Windstorm insurance is not required in most states, however your lender may, regardless of whether you are waterfront or not.
Florida in particular experiences many strong windstorms each year. State regulations require that property insurers include coverage for windstorm damages in their homeowners, condo or renter’s insurance policies, but how much you pay for protection from windstorms will vary by location. If you own property near the beach, you will most likely pay higher rates than areas well inland.
How much will windstorm coverage cost?
Like most property insurance, costs can depend upon several factors such as location, insurer, type of policy, your home’s value, and the deductibles you choose. Some property insurers will simply charge you a separate deductible in the event of wind damages.
Where do I get wind/hurricane insurance?
This gets tricky. Each carrier will be different. Some may not offer it depending on location. Most will have a separate deductible for wind/hurricane. In Florida, insurers are required to offer windstorm insurance if they provide homeowner’s coverage.
What is the Florida Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program (FCHDMP)
FCHDMP helps Florida home and property owners reduce their risk of property damage from windstorms, reducing insurance rates.
By Florida law, any homeowner with wind and hurricane-resistant features is entitled to wind mitigation credits, enabling them to receive a discounted insurance rate for windstorm coverage. A windstorm mitigation inspector most likely will check for features such as proper roof covering, wind-resistant windows and doors, wind-rated garage door, hurricane shutters and more to qualify for wind mitigation credit.
The larger wind mitigation credit you qualify for, the greater the discount you will receive from your property insurance company. Contact us for more information (800) 723-7447
What can I do to help reduce the risk of damages (and possibly cost)?
- Installing storm shutters.
- Trimming landscaping. However, do not do this right before a storm as yard waste can become projectiles with high winds.
- Ensuring proper sealing of windows, doors, and garage.
- Securely store all lawn or patio furniture, decorations, and above ground plantings.
- Clean out and secure gutters.
- Reinforcing your roof with hurricane straps that attach the roof to your home’s walls.
- Installing wind-resistant doors and windows, as well as wind-rated garage doors well ahead of time.