That may be the most popular insurance question of this week as Hurricane Irene curves its way toward the East Coast.
The Good News…
Most Maine homeowners insurance policies cover wind damage, wind-driven rain, damage to a home from falling trees, and other common types of hurricane damage.
In the past 5 years, many insurers have introduced special deductibles for property located within a quarter-mile of the coast. Sometimes, the deductible applies only in the case of a hurricane, or other “named storm”. Other insurers’ policies have higher deductibles for all wind damage, even from a February nor’easter.
These deductibles are usually expressed as a “percentage deductible”. Common deductible percentages are anywhere from 1 to 3% of your property insurance amount. In other words, on a $250,000 home, a 2% wind deductible would be $5,000, and would apply to any wind damage.
What About Other Hurricane Claims?
Standard homeowners policies do not cover damage from loss of power, such as food spoilage or basement water backup caused by a sump pump not working. Often, you can buy some power failure coverage.
Likewise, homeowners policies have little or no insurance coverage for fallen trees, unless they strike a structure or block a driveway. Some insurers sell endorsements that offer limited coverage for this.
Finally, flood damage is NOT covered by homeowners policies. You must buy NFIP Maine flood insurance to have flood coverage.
For more information about Maine hurricane insurance for homes, autos, condos, boats or other property, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance at 207-799-5541. If you are already a client, and need to report a Maine insurance claim, visit our web site, or call the number above for instructions.