Thunderstorm & Severe Weather Insurance for Homeowners
Severe weather, including lightning, high winds and strong rains are common throughout the country. Most standard home insurance policies this type of storm, but there are exceptions, and it is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that their policy covers all of the perils which might be faced by their home.
The standard home insurance policy covers a number of dangers, called perils by insurance companies, including lightning and the possibility of storm related fires, heavy winds, and the damages caused by falling trees, and other wind-borne damages. However, it is possible that such storms are so common in your region that insurance companies are not able to cover all of the possible storm damages by default, and that means that you will need to pick up special add-on policies, called riders, to fill in the gaps in your coverage.
Where such riders are necessary, you can usually add them at a low additional cost by simply contacting your agent or the customer service department of your insurance agency. It is only in places where extreme storm damage is the norm that you will need to look further to get the protection your home needs. In these locations, you may have to purchase a separate severe storm policy from a high risk insurance company. The good news is that this scenario is the exception rather than the rule.
Before you call your insurance company or start shopping around for special coverage, read through your existing policy carefully, especially the section which lists specific exclusions. If your policy does exclude a certain type of damage, such as hail, contact your insurance company and ask about getting the additional coverage.
On the other hand, some types of damage, especially flood damage, are never part of a standard policy, and may not even be available from traditional insurers. Flooding is particularly costly for insurance companies, and many companies have chosen to forego offering flood coverage at all. In most states, flood insurance is only available through special high risk pools which are monitored by the state Department of Insurance, which means that you will need a separate policy for the damages caused by waters rising out of the ground or rivers and other bodies of water overflowing their banks.