Owning a home is a major accomplishment. Losing a home is devastating, especially when it comes to severe weather conditions or damages caused by an unexpected event. In order to create some peace of mind, homeowners in Louisiana and elsewhere will take measures to increase the protections they have for their dream home they have worked so hard to obtain. Insurance policies are a great way to address these concerns; however, this does not always mean a residential property damage claim will be approved.
Insurance policies and damages caused by natural disasters
Louisiana resident are often faced with hurricanes, and this year is no different. The damage that these storms can cause is significant, even causing some to completely lose their home and all of their belongings. In these matters, homeowners are quick to question what, if at all, is covered by their policy.
Current estimates indicate that hurricane Laura has caused between $8 billion and $12 billion in insured losses for residential and commercial properties located in both Louisiana, Texas and Alabama. Of this, only $500 million was caused by storm surge. However, the amount a homeowner will get back after making a claim for residential property damage will depend on their coverage as well as the specifics of their policy.
Coverage for damage caused by a hurricane
In order to get coverage for damage caused by a hurricane, a homeowner’s policy must spell out this damage. For example, if the strong winds from a hurricane took off the roof of a home, standard insurance policies will cover this; however, the homeowner will first need to pay the deductible. Louisiana is one of 19 states where insurers can impose a hurricane deductible. These vary and are dependent on the overall value of the home.
While standard insurance policies will cover damages caused by a hurricane, they do not cover flooding or earth movement. This means if flooding is caused by rising water or a hurricane-induced storm surge, this is not covered. Additionally, earth movement, such as earthquakes, landslides and sinkholes are not covered. In order to obtain cover, additional policies are necessary, which can be costly.
Process to take after property damage from a natural disaster
Regardless if you know your policy in and out, the first thing a homeowner should do is contact their insurer and have the damages assessed. Whether all or some of the damage is covered, it is vital to take timely action. And if a claim is denied, it is important to fully understand what options you can take to ensure you are properly covered by your policy.