Are You Protected Against Wind, Hail or Flood Damage?

You’ve got a homeowner’s insurance, so you’re protected against damage caused by wind, hail, or flooding, right? Not necessarily, but you need to be. It would be wise to ensure that you are insured so that you can be assured that you are covered for these potential occurrences.

There’s a good chance that you have experienced some kind of natural disaster. Wind, hail, and flooding can occur almost anywhere and at any time, especially in low-lying and coastal areas. Individually or combined, they can be so devastating that even the Postman’s Creed doesn’t cover them. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Did you notice there’s not a word about wind, hail or flood?

While your homeowner’s insurance may cover wind and hail damage (you’d better check), it is almost certain that it does not include flood protection. The cost of flood insurance varies depending on whether or not your property is located in a flood zone and what classification that flood zone has been assigned. Just because your home is not in an identified flood zone, that doesn’t mean that you will never sustain flood damage. As former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “There’s no such thing as a 100-year flood.” The website floodsmart.gov says that “Anywhere it rains, it can flood.” It defines a flood as “A general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.” If you think about that for a minute, you’ll realize that could include most of the populated United States.

Wind and hail damage can happen almost anywhere. In May 2009, just two years before Joplin, Missouri was devastated by a massive tornado, its northern suburbs were hit by an un-forecasted “inland hurricane” with 86 mph winds that lasted about 20 minutes. Clean-up took several months and the cost was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the Spring of 1992 an area of Seminole County, Florida, north of Orlando, experienced two hail storms where the hail piled up to mid-calf. It took 96 dump trucks to pick up 359,000 pounds of debris. Imagine what it did to residential roofs and siding.

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