With the start of hurricane season next week, homeowners need to know if they are covered for all damage caused by a hurricane.
University of South Carolina finance professor Ernie Csiszar told South Carolina Radio Network a combination of insurance policies are needed to be fully covered fall types of damage. “That means flood coverage as well as homeowners coverage,” he said.
Csiszar said it can be confusing for a homeowner. “The problem with it is that the coverage for water damage, meaning floods, has to be bought separately.” Csiszar said any hurricane damage from water, not wind and rain, is covered by flood insurance. He said that must be purchased separately through the federally-run National Flood Insurance Program.
Hurricane insurance has a unique place in the world of insurance. Just as hurricanes can do all sorts of damage to a house – from wind, flood, and rain – so hurricane insurance requires a multifaceted approach beyond typical homeowners insurance. Some hurricane damage is covered by homeowners insurance.
Hurricane insurance can be a little tricky. Private homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, but it should cover any damage caused by hurricane winds. Even so, many homeowner policies have special deductibles for hurricane damage that are separate from the general deductible for other damages. While the general deductible for a typical insurance plan is likely set at a dollar amount, the deductible for hurricane damage is often set as a percent of the hurricane costs.
There are two kinds of flood insurance for consumers: one for buildings and one for personal property.
Building policies cover structural damage, to the exterior and foundation, as well as damage to certain, semi-permanent indoor items, such as paneling, heating and cooling systems, carpet, and built-in appliances. Building policies can cover up to $250,000.
Personal property insurance can cover up to $100,000 in damages, and typically applies to portable items. For example, furniture, clothing, and electronics are considered “personal property,” as are portable appliances, washers and dryers, and artwork.