Most people have a homeowners and an auto policy, but most of us don’t know exactly what types of natural disasters are covered. So, what natural disasters DO these policies cover? In Massachusetts the most common types of storms we see are: snow and ice storms, thunder/lightening storms, hurricanes and hail storms. A homeowners policy covers most damage from these storms. The exceptions are flood damage and earthquake damage, these are not covered. If you want coverage for these disasters, you can buy a separate flood policy or if you want earthquake coverage you can add an endorsement to your homeowners policy for additional premium. Don’t try to add flood insurance right before a storm, as there is a 30 day waiting period before federal flood coverage is effective. A convenient chart was created by the Insurance Information Institute to quickly see the types of perils covered by a homeowners policy.
Under a homeowners policy if your house is struck by lightening and it catches fire, you will be covered up to the policy limits. What if heavy, wet snow causes structural damage to your roof? This is also covered under a homeowners policy, unless the damage was from lack of maintenance. For example, if you have an old deteriorating roof, that has missing and worn shingles and it is damaged from a storm, this might not be covered. As a homeowner, it is your duty to maintain your property to an adequate state. In 2009, 2013 and last August the area had hail storms that caused a lot of property damage to houses. These claims were covered. Watch the 2015 hail storm in Waltham, MA.
In regard to auto policies, if you have comprehensive coverage most of these physical damage claims will be covered. Check out this damage done by the hail last August to this man’s car: car hail damage. The car may be considered totaled after all the damage is assessed. All of this damage should be covered if he had comprehensive coverage on his Honda. If you have any questions about your homeowners or auto policy, please call us and we are happy to help!