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Hurricane Insurance Coverage -- Wind not Water

Hurricane Irene came and went. To many on the eastern seaboard, it was all bark and no bite. But to others, especially those in New England, the damage to homes and properties from the hurricane was extensive.

As residents dry out, insurers may see a rise in home insurance claims. But probably not as many as you would think, reports the Associated Press. That’s because most hurricane insurance coverage covers damage from hurricane winds, but not from floods. So if your home was damaged by a flood, you may be out of luck without hurricane flood insurance.

What distinguishes hurricane damage from winds and rain as opposed to flood damage is not always that easy to distinguish, especially when the damage occurs from the same event, reports the AP. In the case of Hurricane Irene, the storm lashed out with deadly winds, fallen trees, and also heavy rains. The same hurricane created wind and flood damage simultaneously.

However, insurance companies will treat the damage differently and will parse out the cause of the damage to determine liability. For example, if a tree knocks a hole in your roof and rain comes in causing damage, you may be covered with a typical homeowner's insurance policy covering hurricane. However, if the hurricane creates a flash flood that destroys your basement, you probably have no recourse.

As we earlier wrote, you generally get what you pay for with insurance coverage. Homeowners wanting comprehensive coverage in the event of hurricane or flood can purchase such hurricane insurance coverage including hurricane flood insurance.

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