Summer Storms and Homeowner’s Insurance: What’s Covered?

August 2, 2015

Summer has fully kicked into high gear over these past couple months, and with the soaring temperatures, extreme weather is always possible. During a severe thunderstorm, high winds, hail, lightning or a torrential downpour can easily cause damage to your home or belongings.

Unlike driving a car, in the state of Ohio homeowners are not legally required to have insurance on their homes. However, if you are financing your house, lenders will require you to have homeowner’s insurance. Insurance coverage is vital in the cases of the unexpected, like fires or natural disasters.

Summer Storm Damage and Insurance

A home is a huge investment- most often the biggest investment we will make in our lives. Keeping an active homeowner’s insurance policy will help keep that investment safe.

So, what type of summer storm damage will your insurance policy cover? When in doubt, you should always contact your insurance agent who can provide the specifics of your policy. However, here are a few facts about what is and isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance:

  • Fallen Trees: If a tree falls onto your home and causes damage, your policy should cover the cost of the tree removal and repair to your house. This is generally true even if the tree that caused the damage isn’t in your own yard.
  • Wind damage: Here in Ohio, we don’t necessarily have to worry about hurricane-strength winds, but that doesn’t mean that high winds during a severe storm can’t cause damage here, too. If strong winds have torn off shutters or shingles or even knock over part of a structure, your policy should cover the repair costs.
  • Sewer backups: If your home has a basement with a sump pump and the power goes out during a torrential downpour, some homeowners may find themselves with a wet, stinky basement. This type of damage usually requires an extra rider to your policy, but if you’ve dealt with a flooded basement before, the extra investment is worth it.
  • Lightning: If lightning strikes your home and causes damage or a fire, your standard homeowner’s insurance policy will cover any damage associated with lightning. However, if a lightning strike causes a power surge that damages your electronics like your flat screen TV or computers, this type of damage may not be covered. You can also consider adding a lightning rod to your roof to safeguard yourself from this type of damage; it will safely divert any strike to the ground.
  • Flooding: If rising rainwater fills your basement, standard homeowner’s insurance will not cover this type of damage. You’ll need to buy a separate flood insurance policy to keep your home protected from flood damage. However, make sure you know exactly what this policy covers; different types of flood insurance cover the structure of the home and the contents within.

A homeowner’s insurance policy keeps your house and the contents covered in the event of most types of summer storm damage. Check the declarations page of your policy to see what type of coverage you have in place; being under-insured can put you and your loved ones at risk.