How can I protect myself and my home from wind damage?
Depending on where you live, your home may be vulnerable to damage from tornadoes, hurricanes, and other windstorms. These weather events can cause devastating and costly losses, so it's important to know how you can protect yourself and your home before a storm strikes.
The first thing you should do is review your homeowners insurance policy. In most cases, windstorms are one of the basic perils covered by standard homeowners insurance. But there can be exceptions. For instance, sometimes windstorm damage is excluded from homeowners coverage in areas where windstorm damage is common. Find out for sure by checking your insurance policy or by speaking with your insurance company or agent.
If you discover that protection from windstorms is not available on your current policy, don't worry. You may be able to purchase optional coverage from your insurer, or another insurer at an additional cost. Your options depend on such factors as whether you live in a high-risk area and how much additional coverage you can afford.
Even with windstorm coverage, you may not be fully compensated in the event of damage to your home or your belongings by wind-related weather events. Keep in mind that you'll be covered only for named perils and only up to the coverage limits for your policy. Any losses that exceed those limits will have to be paid out of your own funds. Remember that you will need to pay out-of-pocket for any deductible that applies before your insurance begins to cover your losses.
Besides making sure you have windstorm coverage, you can take additional steps to help protect yourself and your home in the event of a windstorm. Creating an emergency kit, securing your property, heeding evacuation warnings, and establishing a safety plan with your family can also help you weather windstorms.