5 Things To Know About Severe Weather And Homeowners Insurance

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5 Things To Know About Severe Weather And Homeowners Insurance – Sever Weather of Palm Tree, Not in Chicago

The average homeowner feels secure knowing they have insurance in the event of a severe weather calamity. Most people believe that no matter what happens, they have paid for protection against disaster.

Unfortunately, not every homeowners insurance policy provides full reimbursement from severe weather losses. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and other rare catastrophes may not be covered under your current policy.  As  Realtor in Chicago I know that severe weather happens in the form of water in the spring and fall from rain, and massive snow storms.  Consider the impact of these extreme events and whether you are fully insured for the subsequent losses.

1: Hurricane Damage May Not Be Fully Covered

The recent national mobilization to deal with the fallout from Hurricane Florence highlights just how catastrophic severe weather can be to people and property. That being said, homeowners generally anticipate calling their insurance carrier to file a claim after returning home and assessing the damage.

It may come as a surprise, but many policies limit reimbursement to damage attributed to high winds. For example, a tree falls on a garage or vehicle and the insurance outfit writes a check.

But damage attributed to water can be tricky. Many policies do not cover flood insurance as my South Side Chicago homeowners unfortunately find out from time to time. That could mean that water backed up in the street or a stream, lake or pond overflowing into your home might not be covered. That’s why homeowners are advised to clarify water-related coverage.

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2: Floods May Not Be Covered

People living near bodies of water may be required to carry flood insurance when applying for a mortgage. Flooding represents a high risk that can result in a total loss. Lenders are often apprehensive about approving mortgages for properties in so-called “floodplains.”

FEMA offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowners living just outside a flood zone may not be required to buy additional coverage. However, you are taking a significant risk.

If your policy does not cover flooding, you could be on the hook for the full cost of the home’s repair or replacement. Considering the average flood insurance policy runs about $700, it may be worth the expense to protect your investment.

3: Tornado Insurance Coverage Can Be Murky

Although most policies cover damage from tornados, premiums can run higher in regions prone to these severe weather storms. But, like hurricanes, tornados that additionally bring about flooding can pose a problem for homeowners who make a claim. A carrier may conclude that the high wind and impact damage enjoys coverage. Water, however, can be a very gray area. Knock on wood, but we don’t worry too much about Chicago tornados.

4: Earthquakes Often Not Covered

Like people who live in flood plains, earthquake riders may be required in certain areas of the country. Without additional coverage, the destruction caused by these catastrophic events may not be reimbursed. It’s imperative that people living in or around regions prone to earthquakes carry specific coverage. Imagine losing your home and still owing a monthly mortgage payment.

The important thing to glean from this overview about severe weather claims is that homeowners are wise to dig deep into their policies and have a clear, concise understanding about coverage. Keep in mind that water damage from flooding, rain and even sewer back-ups pose a significant threat to your home. For a few dollars more, enhanced severe weather insurance may be worth every penny.

Your trusted real estate professional is knowledgable about high and low risk properties.  Call me if you have any questions about your insurance policy and I will be sure to get you the information you need, 630-430-1091.

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About the Author
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Kurt Clements

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Kurt has developed a unique system designed to turn renters into homeowners. Unlike most Realtors his initial focus is on the financial end of the transaction. This dynamic has allowed him to develop more buyers that were not previously in the market, which in turn leads to more listings being sold. While Kurt is constantly tweaking his programs to meet the needs of his clients, he is ever mindful that a home is not sold without a buyer. More times than not, a buyer that he turned into a homeowner.