Storm Damage 2017-03-14T10:52:31+00:00

Stormy Weather FAQs

The weather forecast calls for stormy weather. You have everything from fresh milk to batteries and bottled water. But are you really insured against the storm?

The typical Homeowners Policy provides coverage to your home and other structures under an open perils policy, giving coverage for your loss unless a listed exclusion applies to the cause of loss. And while most policies cover wind damage, they only cover water damage that is a direct result of rain entering though a wind-damaged area. Huh?

We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions, FAQs, that address most common situations.

NOTE: These FAQs assume you have a standard, unendorsed home insurance policy, form HO-3. Most Ellis Insurance clients enjoy superior coverage, so be sure to contact us with specific details before assuming the limits of your coverage.

Fallen Trees

A) Yes, If trees damage a covered structure, regardless of the number of fallen trees, $500 is the typical home insurance limit for tree removal in any one loss. (It is important to note that the cost to cut and/or lift a fallen tree off of the “covered structure” and drop it to the ground will be calculated as part of the cost to repair that structure. The HO‐3 Policy’s $500 tree removal limit will apply to the cost to remove the tree(s) after they have been taken off the structure and dropped to the ground.)
A) Tree removal is covered only if the tree damages a “covered structure”. There is no coverage for trees that are leaning or for trees that fall onto other plants or lawns.
A) Trees are not covered for damage caused by the peril of “wind”. See Additional Coverage #3 for the list of covered perils for Trees, Shrubs and Other Plants.
A) Whether or not a policyholder may be liable to a neighbor for the damage will require an investigation under Section II – Liability Coverages. However, Section I – Property Coverages provide no coverage for the neighbor’s damages or for the tree removal costs. If the neighbor has property coverage with their homeowner or auto insurer, they should notify that insurer immediately about the damage.

Water, Hail, & Power Outages

A) In most cases, you should proceed with emergency repairs, like installing an emergency tarp. You are advised to save all receipts and records of the repair for an adjuster. If possible, take photos of the damage before proceeding with any temporary repairs so the adjuster can have documentation of the original damage.
A) Depending on the cause and age of the leak, there is probably coverage for the interior stains on the ceiling. However, there would be no coverage for any personal property contained in the building unless the storm first caused an actual opening in the roof or wall and the precipitation entered through that opening causing direct damage to the personal property.
A) Some granule loss is expected in a hail event. Roofing and engineering experts agree that in most cases, loss of granules is consistent with the roof performing as designed and that the life expectancy of the roof will not be compromised by such an event.

An inspection of the roof may be required to determine whether there has been any covered damage to the roof and, if so, what method of repair may be necessary. Methods of repair range from the replacement of damaged roof parts and individual shingles to the replacement of a damaged slope.

A) For reimbursement coverage under Additional Living Expense (ALE) to apply, a covered cause of loss must occur which makes that part of the residence premises where the insured resides “not fit to live in”. Loss of power due to a wide spread power outage is not a covered cause of loss therefore coverage for hotel bills should not be assumed to be provided.
A) If the power interruption is caused by damage that occurs on the residence premises, the Coverage C perils and limits may apply.

The HO‐3 Policy does not provide food spoilage coverage in the event of a widespread power outage. However, endorsements are available which provides limited coverage, subject to a special deductible, for spoilage caused by off‐premises power outages or by mechanical failure of a freezer or refrigerator.

A) The standard HO‐3 policy provides no coverage for flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not the water is driven by wind. There is no coverage for ground water seepage or leaking, nor is there coverage for water that backs up through sewers, sumps or drains. It is important to note that coverage for loss caused by those perils is excluded even if another peril also causes or contributes to the loss.