Is your insurance policy up to date?

Published On: Oct 26 2011 03:34:27 PM EDT   Updated On: May 29 2013 02:25:03 PM EDT

The following list of items are typically covered by a homeowner's policy. Review your policy before a storm to be sure you have adequate coverage.

When a storm is approaching, most companies will not allow changes in coverage or initiation of new coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Covered by a typical policy:

Water Damage

Homeowners policies don't cover flood damage but they do cover other kinds of water damage. For example, they would generally pay for damage from rain coming through a hole in the roof or a broken window as long as the hole was caused by a hurricane or other disaster covered by the policy. If there is water damage, check with your agent or insurance company representative to see if you are covered.

Trees and Shrubbery

Most insurance companies will pay for the removal of trees that have fallen on your home. They may pay to remove the trees that have fallen and haven't caused damage to your home or other insured structure. They usually won't pay to replace trees or shrubbery that have been damaged in a storm.

Compliance With Current Building Codes

Building codes require structures to be built to certain minimum standards. In areas likely to be hit by hurricanes, for example, buildings must be able to withstand high winds to reduce the risk of hurricane damage. If your home was damaged and it was not in compliance with current local building codes, you may have to rebuild the damaged sections according to current codes.

In some cases, complying with the code may require a change in design or building materials and may cost more. If you live in an area likely to be flooded, you may have to comply with federal codes which require buildings to be raised above flood level. Generally, homeowners insurance policies won't pay for these extra costs. However, some insurance companies offer an endorsement that pays for these extra costs while some insurance companies offer an endorsement that pays a specified amount toward such changes. (An endorsement is a form attached to an insurance policy that changes what the policy covers.)


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