Property insurance is the buffer to storms and the damages caused. Oklahoma is home to torrential rainfall, hail, high winds, and tornadoes. When spring begins, these storms can cause a lot of damage to homes. Wind and hail can damage roofs, tornadoes can demolish a house. Rain can quickly cause water damage if it enters the home. Thunderstorms caused over $10 billion in losses in the Spring of 2013. Thankfully insurance can be purchased to help in the event a storm causes damage to a home.
But, not all insurance policies are equal.
Some insurance policies will include coverage where others have exclusions. The policy language differs. Therefore, it is important to know the exclusions and limitations of the insurance policy under consideration. Generally, homeowners insurance policies cover more than just damage from a storm. It is a good idea to know what other damages are covered.
Most policies will typically cover damage to a roof caused by high winds blowing off the shingles. If a hail storm causes damage to a roof, an insurance policy will commonly provide coverage for the damage caused by hail. However, an insurance policy may exclude some types of damage. Insurance adjusters inspect the property and determine the cause of the damage. The damage caused by a storm will be paid under the insurance policy terms and conditions.
Homeowners policies typically cover tornado damage. Whether the storm caused damage by high winds, falling trees or other objects, or building collapse a policy will likely allow for repair to the home. Many insurance policies allow for payment of additional living expenses if a home is totally destroyed or becomes uninhabitable due to a storm. Additional living expenses, or ALE, are often viewed as the increase in cost to live while repairs are being done. Additional living expense can include the cost of a hotel room plus any increase in the cost of food from eating out.
Thunderstorms with lightning can be a real hazard too. Lightning strikes can cause fires or cause electrical equipment to fail. An insurance policy may or may not cover lightning strikes. If lightning strikes and causes your power to fail and this causes damage, many insurance companies exclude the power failure. Damage caused by storm or wind driven rain is another area typically covered by homeowners insurance. However, it is important to differentiate between water damage caused by flood damage. A homeowners policy will usually not cover flooding. Flood insurance is a separate kind of insurance.
Coverage for damage caused by storms can be vast and complex, and insurance policies can be genuinely hard to understand.
Hiring an Oklahoma attorney who is experienced in insurance law is the best way to ensure you have an understanding of what the policy covers, what the exclusions are, and what the limitations are. Our Tulsa-based law office has worked insurance coverage matters all over the state of Oklahoma.