Hurricane Damage Questions about Home Insurance

Is flooding covered under my home insurance policy?

You should check your policy or ask your agent to be certain, but most standard home insurance policies do not include flood coverage. You will have to get a special flood coverage to protect your home and possessions.

If my car is at home during a flood, is it covered?

Under almost any circumstance, an automobile must be covered by its own auto insurance policy. If your car insurance has comprehensive coverage, then it will be covered in a flood. Home insurance policies, however, do not include coverage for standard vehicles.

If my home has been flooded already, can I still purchase flood coverage?

Any home insurance you buy will not compensate you retroactively. You can still get flood coverage for the future, but you might have to wait 30 days after purchasing the policy before coverage kicks in. Pose this question to different insurance providers to find the right situation for you.

Is there a federal program that will help me with my hurricane damage?

If you reside within a federally-declared disaster area, you may get assistance from the federal government.

Who pays for my home repairs if a neighbor's tree or property hits my house in the storm? Is it my home insurance or the neighbor's?

If the tree was healthy, then normally your home insurance would be required to pay for damages. However, if the tree was diseased, dead, or otherwise weakened, the neighbor is liable and the cost of damages must be covered by either the neighbor or the neighbor's home insurance. The reason being that the neighbor should have done something about the tree beforehand.

How quickly will I be compensated by the insurance company for my losses?

There is a maximum of 30 days required by law for the insurance provider to pay the claim, as long as they agree with the information you have provided on the losses. In most cases, once your damage has been assessed and the insurance adjuster agrees, you will receive a check right away.

This varies company to company, so be sure to check the track record of potential insurers' claims payments before signing up for home insurance.

What can I do if I am unhappy with the service of the insurance company?

Each state in the union has a government agency set up to regulate the insurers. You can file a complaint or grievance with them. Find out more on your state's Department of Insurance website.