Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Damage From Storms?

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Homeowner’s insurance isn’t just extremely helpful–it’s likely required if you bought your house by taking out a mortgage from a bank. But, when you’re looking over your homeowner’s insurance, make sure it covers the essentials. For instance, does your homeowner’s insurance cover the kind of damage that can be caused by storms?

What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?

Every homeowner’s insurance policy is different. However, there are some features that are somewhat universal that you can expect to appear on most “general” insurance policies. Generally speaking, homeowner’s insurance will cover the basics of storm damage. Things like damage from hail, wind, falling tree limbs, lightning strikes, or even water damage could be covered.

The kinds of damage that can be done by a normal thunderstorm are usually explicitly called out in a policy. For instance, a direct lightning strike could cause a fire. Most policies cover fires, so this kind of damage could be covered. Likewise, a lightning strike on nearby power lines could cause a power surge throughout your home, shorting electronics. This kind of damage is also usually covered.

What Isn’t Covered?

A typical policy might not cover some more exotic forms of storm damage, though. While something like water damage to your roof or attic from a downpour could be covered, damage caused by flooding typically isn’t covered under a normal policy. Flood insurance is often a distinct policy that is supplemental to your homeowner’s insurance.

This is noteworthy, as a flood could be a direct result of a storm. In some cases, flash floods occur during thunderstorms but subside when the rain stops. In other cases, rivers can jump their banks due to non-storm weather events, like snow melting off of a mountainside.

Exotic Forms of Weather Damage

Bizarre weather occurrences often aren’t covered by homeowner’s insurance. For instance, if you have the unpleasant distinction of a piece of space debris from a meteor shower landing on your home, odds are good that your insurance won’t cover it. Likewise, earthquake damage is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Instead, you would need to take out a policy against earthquakes, specifically.

This is a very good idea if you live along a fault line and earthquakes are common. Be warned, however, that finding a policy that covers earthquakes can be rather pricey in some regions. Insurance rates are directly based on the likelihood that the policy will need to pay out, and some regions are so tremor-prone that premiums become exorbitantly expensive.