Will my homeowners insurance policy cover hurricane damage?
It depends. While the types of coverage offered by standard homeowners insurance policies vary, windstorms are one of the basic perils that most standard homeowners insurance policies will cover. This means your policy should compensate you for loss/damage to your home that results from a hurricane or other windstorm (e.g., broken windows, torn roof, damage from fallen trees).
Keep in mind that if you live in an area of the country that is prone to hurricanes (e.g., the coastal region of Florida), an insurance company may exclude coverage for hurricane damage from a standard homeowners insurance policy. And even if an insurance company does provide coverage, homeowners insurance policies in states that are at a high risk for hurricanes often contain a separate, higher deductible for hurricane damage.
If you find that your current policy doesn't provide coverage for hurricane damage, you have a few options. First, check with your insurance company and ask if you can add windstorm coverage to your existing policy by purchasing an endorsement (an optional coverage that gets attached to your policy). Another option is to shop around and see if another company will sell you a homeowners policy that includes windstorm damage as a standard covered peril. You may also want to check to see whether your state administers windstorm insurance plans that pick up where regular homeowners policies leave off. If you live in one of these states, you may be able to purchase a separate windstorm policy to provide you with coverage for hurricane damage.
Finally, keep in mind that hurricanes are often accompanied by flooding. In many cases, flooding can cause far more damage to a home and other property than high winds. Unfortunately, though, neither standard homeowners insurance nor a separate windstorm policy will cover flood damage. If you want this type of protection, you'll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. The National Flood Insurance Program offers flood insurance through the federal government and some private insurers.