The answer here is YES! Homeowner’s policies and most other property policies will include coverage for windstorm damage. This coverage pays for wind damage to your dwelling, other structures, and contents, but is subject to your deductible. Since many coastal states have designated wind-pools, the policy that actually pays for damage may not be the homeowner’s policy, but the separate Wind policy that has been likely purchased by the coastal homeowner.
There are some unique situations that should be considered depending on your insurance carrier. Some insurance carriers are no longer insuring roofs at full replacement cost unless the policy has been endorsed for this coverage. This means that the insurance carrier can and will take depreciation into considering the loss settlement. For example, if your roof is over ten years old, and the roof needs to be replaced, the insurance company may pay for a ten-year-old roof rather than a new one. Check your policy or call your agent to verify your coverage.
In cases where only part of a roof needs replacement, the insurance company may not be able to match the existing shingles and will typically pay for an entire roof as long as your roof is insured at 100% replacement cost. Some carriers may elect to replace an entire side of the roof even if the color match is not exact. Unless the homeowner is willing to pay for replacing the other side that wasn’t damaged, there will likely be issues if the home is put up for sale.
If your insurance carrier is unwilling to replace your entire roof because the brand of shingles is no longer on the market, or they feel the color they choose is a close enough match, your best bet is to contact a public adjuster to help you through the claims process. Your public adjuster will be your advocate against the insurance company and fight for a favorable resolution to your claim.
Most Florida homeowner insurance policies have a separate deductible for wind and hurricane damage. This separate deductible is typically represented as a percentage such as one, three, or five percent. This deductible percentage has become confusing to many policyholders. Your one, three, or five percent deductible is a percentage of the dwelling limit NOT a percentage of the loss. So then, if your home is insured for $300,000, and you elected a 3% deductible, you would be responsible for the first $9,000 of the claim not 3% of the loss. Many homeowners fail to grasp the severity of the deductible that applies to wind damage.
Know Before You Buy
If you are a first-time home buyer or new to Florida, make sure you speak with a licensed and reputable insurance agent to make certain that you are purchasing the coverage that you need and understand how the loss settlement and deductibles will apply to your claim. The standard policy form used by most Florida agents is an HO-3, but there are others that offer less coverage at a lower price. If you have a roof claim and feel you are not being treated fairly or if you would prefer to have a professional public adjuster representing your interests, contact them when the claim happens rather than after you feel you’ve been treated unfairly.