The recent hurricanes that have devastated parts of Texas and Florida have truly been terrible and have caused major destruction throughout both states. These disasters bring to mind storms that have impacted North Carolina and Virginia’s coasts in previous years, like Matthew, Irene, Isabel, and Floyd. When disaster strikes, it’s always best to be prepared – and the best way to plan for possible storms is preventative measures. This leads to the question, does your Homeowners Policy cover the cost of replacement windows if they get damaged during a storm? The best way to find out is by asking your insurance agency directly. It might be a good idea to have a few questions regarding specifics though. Here are a few things you might not know about homeowner’s insurance pertaining to window damage.
Common Insurance Policy Coverage for Windows
Most insurance policies will cover things like theft and vandalism, but also cover damage from catastrophic events or perils like fire, wind, hail, or falling objects. This means that if your windows break due to a wind-propelled tree limb or by someone purposely breaking it to gain entry to your home, your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of replacing the windows (as well as any damage done to the interior of your home).
However, you’ll have a very difficult time getting your insurance agency to cover the cost of replacement windows if they’re damaged due to aging. Seasonal weather changes, exposure to sunlight, and the passage of time can all lead to your windows breaking down and becoming damaged. This can lead to problems for your windows themselves, as well as the surrounding interior walls. This is why you should keep an eye on your windows, looking for things like excess condensation or weakened weather-stripping.
Damage Due to Flooding
With many policies, things are a little less defined when it comes to water damage. This means making a water damage claim can become a little problematic. An insurance policy may say that it covers the cost of remediating water damage, but it might not cover the source of the damage. A good example of this would be a water heater leak. If you’re away for a weekend and you come home to find your basement flooded from the water heater, your policy might cover the cost of repairing the damaged floor, walls, and furniture – but it might not cover the cost of repairing or replacing the water heater itself.
Standard homeowner’s policies rarely cover damage due to flooding from rain water or storm-damaged roofs or windows, and this is one of the primary causes of damage during hurricanes. You might live outside of the most affected areas, but all the excessive rain can cause the water levels to go up in nearby rivers and creeks, putting your home at risk for damage as well. However, The National Flood Insurance Program offers flood insurance for people that are missing it in their standard homeowner’s policies. The rates are low and the program is available to everyone, even if you live in an area prone to water damage.
Making A Plan
So, what can you do to be prepared? First make sure that you have adequate homeowner’s insurance in the unfortunate event you get affected by a storm. Reach out to your insurance agency and discuss your existing coverage. Ask specifically about exclusions, flood damage due to rain, and how much your deductibles are. You’ll thank yourself later if you end up getting hit by a storm. If you’re dealing with aging windows that need to be replaced, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’d love to get in touch and give you a free in-home window diagnosis. You’ll get a lot of information on options, and there’s no obligation to make a purchase.