We've definitely had some unusual and severe weather this summer, with the most extreme being the EF-1 tornado that hit Concord just over a week ago. With winds of over 100 miles per hour, the storm cut a path of destruction including damage to 39 homes, scores of downed trees, branches, and power lines leaving more than 1,000 residents without power. Many of the fallen trees came perilously close to hitting homes. And now we've got a tropical storm moving up the coast, headed in our direction!
While certainly unexpected, unusual weather patterns are becoming more and more common lately. And with that in mind, we checked in with our favorite insurance expert, Matt Naimoli of G&N Insurance and asked him what homeowners can do to prepare for the unexpected and what they can do if their property has been damaged. Hope you find this useful!
Thanks, Suzanne! When prepping for an unexpected tornado or hurricane it's important to build an emergency kit, know where to go to seek shelter, and practice ahead of time so your family knows what to do in the event of a natural disaster.
A few key pieces of information that many homeowners should be aware of when it comes to insurance:
- Most standard home insurance policies include protection against storms, wind, hurricanes, and tornados. It is important to confirm with your insurance agent that your policy does indeed offer coverage for these perils and that you have replacement cost coverage for your structure.
- Some high-risk wind zone areas cause many insurance companies to include a separate wind/hail or named storm deductible on the property policy. This means that while you may have a $1000 standard deductible, if your wind/hail deductible happens to be 5% (typically near the coast or on an island) then you could be looking at a $10K - $50K deductible, depending on the replacement value of your property. It is important to understand what your policy covers, specifically with regards to the deductible. If your current policy includes a large deductible for wind it is always recommended to obtain comparison quotes from an independent agency who represents a large number of carriers.
- Most standard insurance policies will protect and rebuild your house or detached structure if a tree or limb happens to fall on it. Additionally, it will most likely offer a certain dollar amount per tree to have them removed from the property. That being said, very few home insurance policies will offer tree removal coverage if there is no structural damage. The insurance company is protecting the main house and detached structures, not the trees. It is important as the homeowner to understand this and remove dead trees or limbs proactively to avoid problems in the future with potential damage or coverage concerns. There are some high-end home insurance policies that may offer tree removal coverage regardless of damage so discussing your options with your independent agent is highly recommended.
We're happy to answer any additional questions you may have — call 508-258-3518 or visit our video resources page for answers to other common client questions, and be safe!