Bridgeport, WV Personal Injury Attorney | Desai Law

Is Wind Damage Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

Is Wind Damage Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

Did your property recently take a hit from strong and powerful winds? Are you desperate to know if your homeowners insurance covers the damage?

Protecting our homes and our loved ones is the pride and duty of every American household. It gives you peace of mind knowing that your investment is shielded from even the harshest elements.

From fallen trees to damaged roofs and shattered windows, we understand the burdens that come with facing unexpected calamities. It can also be deeply frustrating if you don’t get your highly anticipated compensation right away.

In this article, we’ll discuss your burning questions related to wind-related claims and how you can ensure a successful outcome for your case.

Understanding Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Generally, every homeowners insurance policy offers some form of wind damage coverage for the costs of repair and replacement from an intense storm.

You should always check the terms and conditions of your contract to understand the items that are included. For example, your dwelling coverage most likely will help pay to repair or replace damage to the roof, siding or windows due to a wind event.

Additionally, your personal property coverage would also cover the affected items in your home that have been damaged or lost.

It’s important that you review your coverage limits, deductibles and exclusions before filing your claim since, in some areas, special deductibles tend to be priced higher for stronger windstorms, like hurricanes and tornadoes. There are also states that require separate wind insurance.

Wind Damage Covered By Homeowners Insurance

In the last five years, wind and hail accounted for the largest share of claims in damaged homes, so naturally, any policyholder would want to maximize their protection under their homeowners insurance policy.

Know Your Deductibles And Coverage Limits

If you’ve determined that your homeowners insurance policy covers wind damage, a deductible will usually apply. Your deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurer steps in to help pay for a covered risk or peril.

Your deductibles should be clearly and explicitly written in your policy, and make sure to double-check this list since some have specific deductibles for damage caused by windstorms and hail or by tropical cyclones or hurricanes.

You may be able to adjust the amount of your deductibles to fit your needs. Your insurance agent can help you review or change your deductibles.

Another important factor to consider is your coverage limit since wind damage will only be compensated up to the limit you chose when you purchased coverage. It’s recommended that you contact your insurance agent if you want to change the amount you initially acquired.

Factors Affecting Wind Damage Coverage

Wind damage can take various forms, such as roof damage, structural integrity issues, or even damage to your personal belongings, including furniture or outdoor work. Knowing what is covered and what is not can save you from unnecessary stress and financial strain.

It’s always good to review your policy, whether you reside in a coastal area prone to hurricanes or in a region susceptible to severe storms. Just remember that your claim will be influenced by these factors:

  • Geographic location and regional risks;
  • Insurance policy terms and conditions;
  • Deductibles and limits;
  • Exclusions and limitations.

Can Wind Insurance Be Separate From Homeowners Insurance?

Yes, it can. However, it depends on which state you’re in. Nineteen (19) states and the District of Columbia are required to have separate wind insurance. These are:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington DC

Steps to Take After Wind Damage Occurs

It’s essential to note that a comprehensive policy can facilitate swift repairs and replacements for necessary expenses. On the other hand, a lack of coverage can lead to significant delays and out-of-pocket costs that can hamper your recovery process.

Here are some crucial steps you need to complete after suffering from wind damage to ensure a successful claim:

Report The Incident Immediately

Time is of the essence in filing a wind damage insurance claim because there are deadlines that you need to meet. Your insurance company also needs sufficient time to begin its investigation to process your case.

Take Note Of The Relevant Periods For Your Claim

Every state has a different timeline for insurance providers to investigate your claim. For example, in West Virginia, your insurer must establish procedures to commence an investigation of any claim within fifteen (15) working days after receipt of the notification of the claim (W. Va. Code St. R. § 114-14-6.2).

However, if the insurer needs more than thirty (30) calendar days from the date that a proof of loss from a first-party claimant or notice of claim from a third-party claimant is received to determine whether a claim should be accepted or denied, it shall notify the claimant in writing within fifteen (15) working days after the thirty-day period expires (W. Va. Code St. R. § 114-14-6.7).

Lastly, if the investigation remains incomplete, the insurer is required to provide written notification of the delay to the claimant every forty-five (45) calendar days thereafter until the investigation is complete. When additional time is needed for an investigation, all your notifications should provide a reason (W. Va. Code St. R. § 114-14-6.7).

Repair And Rebuild What You Can

After reporting the incident, you should assess the parts that you can repair so you can protect your property from any further damage. This would also show your insurance company that you’re a responsible policy owner by minimizing the extent of your claim.

Document The Damage And Gather Evidence

To support your case, you’ll need to have essential documentation and records of the scene and the extent of the damage. This includes photographs, videos, and a written inventory of damaged property. You’ll most likely submit these to the assigned insurance adjuster.

Be thorough and diligent in gathering evidence because this plays a crucial part in either denying or acknowledging your claim. It’s also helpful to take note of the conversations you’ll have with contractors or repair professionals.

Common Challenges In Wind Damage Claims

Here are some of the common challenges that policy owners encounter that may lead to their claim’s denial:

  • Confusion over the policy’s exclusions and limitations;
  • Disagreements involving the property’s repairs and replacement costs;
  • Disputes over the policy’s overage;
  • Failure to perform preventive maintenance;
  • Fraudulent practices;
  • Inadequate documentation;
  • Misrepresentation;
  • Property owner’s negligence.

Consult With Desai Law For Your Wind Damage Claims

So many things can go wrong as you try to deal with a wind damage claim. It’s a delicate process that requires a comprehensive understanding of your insurance policy’s language, the specifics of the damage, and applicable legal principles.

Homeowners will greatly benefit from the steadfast resolve of a lawyer. Much like the unwavering presence of a guiding breeze, we’ll ensure that you’ll have a smooth and secure legal journey.

At Desai Law, your trust is the compass that steers our course. Our experienced and resilient team is here to guide you through the storm, ensuring that you not only weather the winds but emerge stronger on the other side. Call (304) 974-1974 now for a free consultation.

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