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October 30th, 2012

How will Hurricane Sandy affect your home insurance?



house and floodHurricane Sandy hit the East Coast yesterday bringing tidal surges, high winds, rain, and even snow to much of the Northeast.  For homeowners, that means floods, power outages, splintered trees and structural damage.

Read: Fannie, Freddie offer mortgage relief to Hurricane Sandy’s victims

To help you understand how storms like Sandy impact your home and its insurance, here are some articles from our sister sites Insure.com and Insurance.com:

Insurance for hurricanes

By: Karen Aho, Insure.com

In most areas of the country, wind damage is generally covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. So if shingles are torn off, trees knocked down or windows shattered, the resulting damage to structures included in the policy likely will be covered. And unless you live in a high-risk area with special hurricane deductibles – based on a percentage of the home’s replacement cost – the standard dollar deductibles apply.

However, a standard home insurance policy may not cover wind or wind-blown water damage if you live near the coast. In such circumstances, you may be required to purchase a separate windstorm policy.

Read more.

Chain saw massacre: When trees go down, whose insurance picks up the tab?

By: Beth Orenstein, Insure.com

When a tree goes down, you’re probably wondering who will pay for the cleanup and any necessary repairs. The answer is: “It depends.”

You’ll need to check your homeowner insurance policy, says Chris Hackett, director of personal lines for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). If a tree doesn’t do any damage, your policy isn’t likely to pay for its removal. To qualify for a claim, the fallen tree must have caused damage to structures that are outlined in your home insurance documents.

“If your tree falls over in the middle of your backyard and it doesn’t knock over a fence or hit the roof of your house, you’re on your own,” he says.

Read more.

Making hurricane claims: Questions and answers

By: Insure.com

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents offers answers to the 10 most frequently asked questions about insurance coverage for storms. Remember that insurance policy language can vary. The answers below may not apply to your specific insurance policy.

Read more.

When your power is out does homeowners insurance kick in?

By: Barbara Marquand, Insurance.com

Whether homeowners insurance covers the consequences of a power outage depends in part on how the outage occurred, where you live and the fine print of your home insurance policy.

Generally, the likelihood of coverage is greater if the outage is a direct result of a problem that occurred on your property, such as a lightning strike or fallen tree, than if the outage is the result of a widespread blackout, says David Colmans, executive director of the Georgia Insurance Information Service.

Read more.

Hurricanes and insurance: 5 must-know facts

By: Mark Chalon Smith, Insurance.com

1. People usually underestimate the risk

Ninety percent of all natural disasters that occur nationwide involve flooding, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). To further underscore the danger, the NFIP notes that homes have a 26 percent chance of flooding during the life of a typical 30-year mortgage. That compares to the nine percent risk your home will suffer fire damage, says the NFIP.

Also, keep in mind that if you live in flood-prone areas, your homeowners policy doesn’t protect you for flood damage. You’ll need separate insurance for that, provided by the NFIP and purchased through most insurance companies. To make sure your community is eligible for NFIP coverage, visit the NFIP’s Community Status Book.

2. The 30-day clause

You can’t just go out and buy flood insurance after learning that a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching. Coverage becomes effective 30 days after purchase, so the NFIP recommends that you consider where you live and the risks living there, and plan ahead.

Read more.

3 Responses to “How will Hurricane Sandy affect your home insurance?”

  1. Originations: Mortgage & Insurance Help Post Hurricane Sandy | The Basis Point Says: October 31st, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    […] – How Will Hurricane Sandy Affect Your Homeowners Insurance? (Tim Manni, HSH) […]

  2. Karoon Insurance Says: December 6th, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Thanks. I think by increase the common knowledge of folks about insurance and its tips, we can decrease the cost of policies and have a safer community. Karoon

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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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