Here’s what you need to know in 2023
Home is where your money is. Whoever said, “Home is where the heart is,” certainly didn’t think about what a big investment it is. Several potential risks can damage your home and create a financial burden.
Unforeseen weather events are among the biggest culprits of it. Hurricanes are just one example in this category. Buying home insurance protects your home, but it won’t pay for every kind of hurricane damage. The smart thing to do is to understand and purchase the right hurricane insurance.
We will take you through what you can expect from hurricane insurance to protect your home during this active hurricane season.
What is hurricane insurance?
Well, “hurricane insurance” doesn’t exist on its own. It comes as a deductible on a homeowners’ insurance policy, typically as wind insurance or flood insurance. Since water and wind are the primary sources of hurricane damage, you can add these policies to a standard homeowners policy.
Presently, 19 coastal states offer and require wind insurance coverage or “hurricane deductibles,” as some carriers call it.
|New York||North Carolina|
A deductible is an amount subtracted from an insurance company’s payout after a claim. But instead of “dollar” deductibles, hurricane deductibles are based on a percentage of the insured property for minimized losses for the insurer. For example, if your home is worth $100,000, and you have a 10% deductible, you would pay $10,000 out of pocket. Your insurance company would cover the rest.
Does homeowners insurance cover hurricane damage?
Simply put, no.
A standard home insurance policy protects your house and belongings, but not from hurricanes or flooding.
It’s the same for renters insurance as well. But, unlike homeowners insurance, most renters insurance does cover wind damage.
Here’s what home insurance and its add-ons usually cover:
|Home insurance||Wind insurance||Flood/Hurricane insurance|
|Wind damage—except in coastal areas||Damage to homes caused by wind-driven rain (in coastal states)||Water damage to your home|
|Temporary relocation expenses||Water-damaged appliances|
|Flooding caused by damage to the roof||Furniture damage|
|Food spoiling in the freezer due to a power cut caused by a hurricane.|
So, when you get a homeowners policy, adding a windstorm policy will not be enough. Make sure you add a good flood insurance policy to be better protected and covered in the event of a hurricane.
When you look to buy or review your home insurance policy, make sure that you go through what the policy entails and what it doesn’t. Talk to an insurance agent to get all the information you need.
Hurricane, named storm, and windstorm deductibles
For high-risk coastal areas, your insurance provider may require you to have separate hurricane, named storm, or windstorm deductibles on top of your main deductible. While these may sound the same, they have crucial differences.
|Hurricane deductible||Named storm deductible||Windstorm deductible|
|A hurricane deductible only kicks in when a storm is classified as a hurricane. While all hurricanes have high enough winds and can trigger a named storm deductible, not all named storms are strong enough to become hurricanes. So, even if you have a hurricane deductible, you would still pay all other perils deductible if the winds aren’t strong enough.||If a storm named by the National Weather Service or the National Hurricane Center damages your home, this type of deductible immediately goes into effect. A tornado or other strong windstorms won’t trigger it.||AKA wind or hail deductible, this applies to damages caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, or other high winds.|
How much does hurricane insurance cost?
Comprehensive hurricane coverage can average $2,555 per year. Coastal homeowners will see their policies come with hurricane deductibles on top of the premiums. The deductibles range from 1% to 5% of a home’s insured value but can be higher in high-risk coastal areas.
Hurricane deductibles kick in when a named storm causes damage. For example, if you insure your home for $200,000 and are affected by a hurricane, the deductible will range from $2,000 to $10,000 (I.e., 1% to 5%).
If you’re a homeowner, you should review your current coverage and hurricane risks to see whether you need more insurance. Consider your home’s condition. Check for any vulnerabilities and consult a contractor for details on the condition.
Tips for buying hurricane coverage:
- If you’re buying home insurance, or adding flood or windstorm insurance, be sure to have enough coverage for rebuilding your home and paying for any replacements. Consulting an insurance agent can help determine the right amount.
- Don’t put off buying any coverage. Insurance companies usually won’t adjust your coverage after a storm is forecast.
- Compare home insurance quotes when your policy is up for renewal. You can save money by finding lower rates for the same coverage.
Hurricanes and travel insurance
The hurricane season runs from June to November, with it taking stride in mid-September. So, it’s ideal to consider purchasing travel insurance to cover your travel during this time. Luckily, travel insurance can help you should your trip be delayed or canceled due to a hurricane or other certain unforeseen severe weather.
Meteorologists are predicting an above-average hurricane season this year. Travel insurance should be part of your plan when booking a trip to hurricane-prone areas like Florida, Texas, or the Caribbean.
Travel insurance for hurricane season
Travel insurance offers coverage and perks specifically associated with weather events, such as hurricanes, which can drastically impact travel.
You can choose from two different plans, each offering unique benefits in emergencies like hurricanes. These benefits can act as a safeguard for you and your travel plans during the hurricane season. However, keep in mind that the benefits will differ for every plan. Make sure to get full details about your coverage beforehand.
Trip cancellation coverage
Trip cancellation insurance provides full reimbursement for prepaid and non-refundable expenses. You’ll need to meet one of the following criteria to initiate a claim under this coverage:
- Your common carrier airline is considerably delayed for a certain time.
- Your destination is under a hurricane warning.
- Severe weather or evacuation orders render your destination uninhabitable.
Trip interruption coverage
Trip interruption insurance covers prepaid, non-refundable deposits for missed parts of your trip due to weather events like hurricanes. It also covers an emergency flight home when you need to cut your trip short due to a reason covered in your policy, which usually includes severe weather.
Things to consider about hurricanes and travel insurance
- Travel insurance only covers unexpected events, so purchasing insurance after a storm has been named, regardless of its location or forecasted path, is too late.
- Buy travel insurance sooner rather than later, especially if a hurricane has recently emerged near your vacation spot.
- To increase flexibility in trip cancellation, consider adding a “cancel for any reason” upgrade to your policy. This addon provides more comprehensive coverage by allowing you to cancel your trip for reasons beyond those specified in the base policy, such as a change of plans. Depending on your policy, you can receive a 50% to 75% reimbursement.
Before you buy
Is hurricane insurance worth it?
The simple answer is Yes!
Meteorologists have stated that this year may bring another above-average hurricane season. And the start of the Atlantic hurricane season is inching closer. Hurricanes cause a lot of damage to coastal homes every year, and it calls for more ways to keep things secure.
Adding hurricane coverage to your homeowners insurance policy may give you financial aid should your home and belongings should you incur any damages.
To make your choice of hurricane coverage easier, here’s a quick look at the best hurricane insurance providers during the first half of 2023.
We believe State Farm is the best overall hurricane insurance provider. It boasts a wide network of agents in most hurricane-prone states and a history of good customer service.
|What we like||What we don’t|
|A large network of local agents in most areas||May not be the most cost-effective|
|A++ AM Best rating||Fairly average customer satisfaction for property claims|
|Extensive resources and experience||Covers most hurricane-prone states except Florida|
You’ll need to purchase a standard homeowners policy and add a hurricane insurance policy to get hurricane coverage with State Farm. You will get flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Check out our State Farm Insurance review to learn more about what it offers, here.
Kin Hurricane Insurance
Kin is the best value provider when looking for hurricane insurance. With Kin, you get hurricane coverage in one single homeowners policy.
|What we like||What we don’t|
|Homeowners policies include hurricane and wind damage coverage||Not available in all states|
|Simple online application||Short track record—relatively new insurer|
|Customers can save around $500 when switching|
Since 2016, Kin has offered insurance in California and hurricane-prone Florida. It includes hurricane and wind damage coverage on all home insurance policies and gives customers the option to add flood insurance to the same policy. This allows you to save money on buying multiple separate riders and helps you save when switching,
Kin doesn’t have a rating from large rating agencies yet but has earned good reviews and scores online. You must fill out an online application to learn about their quotes and offers. Since it’s an online insurer, you won’t experience in-person support.
Amica provides flexible policies in most East Coast states. It boasts the highest customer satisfaction ratings among major insurers.
|What we like||What we don’t|
|Has a strong East Coast presence but operates in many U.S. states||Fairly small presence among major large insurers|
|The best insurer for customer satisfaction in the 2022 J.D. Power property claims survey|
|A+ AM Best rating|
Amica is a well-recognized home insurer covering the hurricane-prone East Coast. It offers homeowners policies that cover hurricanes and wind damage but not floods. It earned the title for best customer service in the 2022 J.D. Power survey.
The bottom line
If you live in an area susceptible to hurricanes or may be impacted by future hurricanes, hurricane insurance is a wise investment. Compare different policies and quotes before landing on the insurance package that fits your needs best.
If you’re unsure where to start, Agency Height is a good place learn about different insurance carriers and their offerings. We recommend getting hurricane insurance and protecting your home with the proper coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does renters insurance cover hurricane damage?
Renters policies usually don’t cover flood damage, whether from a hurricane or other storm. Your landlord’s insurance will only cover the building’s structure but not your belongings. So, it’s ideal to buy flood insurance.
Who pays for hurricane damage?
Depending on the cause of damage—wind or water—your homeowners, flood, or windstorm policies could cover hurricane damage. You may end up paying thousands of dollars in repairs because deductibles can be quite costly. However, it is best that you get comprehensive coverage.
If a hurricane damages my car, will it be covered?
If you have comprehensive insurance on your auto policy, it will cover your car from flood and wind damage.
Are wind and hurricane insurance the same?
A windstorm policy and a hurricane policy may be different. With windstorm insurance, you’re covered for damage caused by wind only. A hurricane insurance policy is a combination of a windstorm policy, flood insurance, and homeowners insurance.