Hurricane Insurance Coverage Guide
It’s not just Florida and Louisiana that are at high risk for hurricane activity. In fact, a total of 19 states on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast have experienced hurricane landfall. Even if your home isn’t directly on the coast, damage from wind and rain can still cause catastrophic damage to inland areas. But even the best home insurance won’t pay for all hurricane damage — and it often comes with exclusions that may not give you the protection that you need. If you are a resident of Louisiana or your home sustained damage from Hurricane Ida and you need to file an insurance claim after a hurricane — read here.
Read on to find out what kind of hurricane insurance you need to protect your home when you need it most.
What Insurance Covers Hurricane Damage?
There are two types of insurance that you need to cover most of the damage your home takes on from a hurricane including flood insurance and also a windstorm insurance policy:
- Flood insurance: A standard homeowners insurance policy won’t cover flooding, including water from a storm surge, but flood insurance will offer the protection you need. Most major insurance companies provide flood insurance through an arrangement with the National Flood Insurance Program, so you can purchase it through your home insurance agent.
- Windstorm insurance: Typically, homeowners policies cover damage caused by wind and wind-driven rain, including hurricanes. So if a strong wind tears off your shingles and water leaks through your roof, the damage is generally covered. However, some hurricane-prone states won’t pay for windstorm damage. Instead, you’ll need to buy separate windstorm insurance, which covers damage from any strong wind, not just hurricanes. If you live in one of the following high-risk coastal states, you’ll need to talk to an agent about windstorm insurance:
Technically, there is no single policy known as “hurricane insurance.” Instead, there are a couple of types of policies you can purchase to protect your home from the two main sources of hurricane damage: water and wind. Here are the two separate policies that you may need to buy to ensure adequate hurricane coverage for your home. If you have already been hit by a natural disaster make sure to avoid these types of scams after a hurricane hits.
Who Needs Hurricane Insurance?
The top 15 states that need to invest in hurricane insurance and are most likely to sustain damage during hurricane season include:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
These 15 states are the top locations to deal with insurance claims for multiple hurricanes and a fully covered policy is highly suggested.
Tip: Since insurance varies by state—especially for hurricane-prone states—you should carefully review your policy and ask about any limitations on wind and water damage. After all, even homeowners policies that don’t exclude hurricanes will often exclude damage from floods caused by rising water. That’s why purchasing as much coverage as you can afford is essential for protecting your home and finances.
How Much Does Hurricane Insurance Cost?
It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact number, since hurricane coverage can vary from as little as $300 for a modest house in a low-risk area to as much as $15,000 for a luxury home in a high-risk zone. However, the average price of homeowners insurance is about $964 per year, and flood insurance costs roughly $672 per year. When combined, you can expect to pay roughly $1,646 to protect your home from a hurricane.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Hurricane Insurance
- Which state you live in
- The value of your home
- The proximity of your home to a body of water.
- The amount of hurricane coverage you need
- How much you pay for a deductible
If your home is located in a coastal area, you’ll need to add wind coverage on top of flood and homeowners insurance to be fully covered for a hurricane — and it can be pricey. For example, the average yearly rate from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association runs at $1,700.
The good news is that hurricane insurance costs less for renters, at an average rate of $168 per year.
Hurricane Deductibles: What You Need to Know
When it comes to home insurance deductible—the amount you pay before insurance kicks in—they’re usually a fixed dollar amount, such as $1,500.
A home insurance deductible—the amount you pay before insurance kicks in—is usually a fixed dollar amount, such as $1,500. On the other hand, deductibles for wind, named storms or hurricanes tend to be percentage based. They typically range from 1% to 5%, though they can be higher in high-risk coastal areas. For example, if your home is insured for $500,000 and you file a claim, you could be responsible for the first damages of up to $25,000 to be deducted from your payment.
However, hurricane deductibles aren’t always calculated by percentage. For example, if you live in Florida, you must be given the option of a $500 flat-rate hurricane deductible. But in this scenario, you’d be on the hook for a higher monthly premium than if you chose one of the other required options: of 2%, 5%, or 10% of the insured value of your home.
The following 19 coastal states and Washington, D.C., allow insurance companies to charge special deductibles for hurricane damage, with full details of each state’s policies here.
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington DC
A final word about hurricane deductibles: In order for the deductible to be triggered, the storm has to be a named hurricane, along with meeting certain other conditions such as reaching land. Check with your agent to make sure you understand the deductibles that apply to your policy and under which circumstances they might be triggered.
Tips for Buying Hurricane Insurance Coverage
Want to enjoy the peace of mind that you have adequate hurricane protection for your home? Here’s what you need to know:
- Review your policy: Whether you’re buying home, flood or windstorm insurance — or all three — make sure that you have enough coverage to pay for the full cost of rebuilding your house and replacing your possessions.
- Don’t delay: Flood insurance policies usually impose a 30-day waiting period between the time you buy and the time coverage takes effect. To make sure your home is protected, enroll for a policy with sufficient coverage before hurricane season arrives.
- Check the expiration date: Your policy will be up for renewal on an annual basis, which means you could save money by comparing quotes to find a lower rate for the same coverage.
- Understand your deductible: As mentioned above, not every policy will have a separate hurricane deductible. If yours does, however, make sure you know how it works and how much you’ll be responsible for paying.
- Insure for full replacement cost: Since the cost of building a home often exceeds its market value, you’ll get more protection by insuring your home based on its replacement cost.
- Check for wind-damage exclusions: Some home insurance policies won’t pay for windstorm damage—especially in hurricane-prone states such as Louisiana, Texas and Florida. If your policy doesn’t cover wind damage, windstorm insurance will ensure that your home is well protected.
Get Free Hurricane Insurance Coverage Quotes for Your Home
Protecting your home from natural disasters is a must no matter where you live—but it’s especially critical if you live in an area that’s at high risk for hurricanes. And that’s why we’re here to make the hunt for home insurance coverage easier than ever. With our immediate free home insurance quotes you can enroll and enjoy the peace of mind that your home is protected—all in a matter of minutes. Get yours today and rest easy knowing that if disaster strikes, your home and family are prepared and protected.