Frequently Asked Questions About Storm Damage

Small house house with a large tree that has been blown over by wind, damaging the gutter and blocking the sidewalk.

Was your property damaged in the recent storm? At Western National, we understand that storm damage can be stressful, and you may have questions about what is covered by your insurance policy. Listed below are some common questions about property that has been damaged by inclement weather. As a reminder, you can report claims by calling us at (855) 921-3164 (available 24/7) or contacting your Independent Insurance Agent.

A tree has fallen on my house, garage, or other covered structure. How much coverage do I have for the debris removal?

Your Homeowner policy provides coverage up to $500 per tree and up to $1,000 per occurrence to remove trees that have fallen due to windstorm, hail, or the weight of ice, snow, or sleet. This coverage only applies if the tree causes damage to a home or other covered structure, prevents motorized vehicles (registered for use on public roads) from using the driveway, or obstructs handicap accessibility to the home. No deductible applies to this coverage.

A tree on my property has fallen on my neighbor’s home due to windstorm, hail, or the weight of ice, snow, or sleet. Which policy pays for its removal – my policy or my neighbor’s policy?

Your neighbor’s policy should cover the tree removal as long as it damaged a structure covered by the neighbor's policy.

My home has sustained damage to its exterior due to a windstorm. What should I do until the adjuster arrives?

Your Homeowner policy has a provision for making temporary repairs. You should take the necessary steps to protect your property from further damage. For example, you may have tarps installed on the roof, siding, or broken windows to protect the interior from water damage. You can hire a contractor to complete these repairs, and these costs are covered. For information about finding a reliable contractor after a loss, click here.

A storm has caused a general power outage in the area and has affected my electricity for an undetermined amount of time. Is the cost of a hotel covered under my Homeowner policy?

The cost of a hotel is not covered by your Homeowner policy. Your property must sustain direct physical damage causing the power outage, and the property must be considered unfit for occupancy in order to recover costs for hotel bills.

Do I have coverage for interior water damage to my home if it is the result of exterior damage caused by a windstorm or hail?

Yes. All Homeowner policies will cover damage to the interior of a home if the home has first sustained damage to the exterior caused by windstorm or hail.

Is there coverage for a flooded basement if the water enters through the sewer or sump pump system? What if the sump pump system failed due to a power outage?

With the exception of Iowa (this coverage may be added by an endorsement in Iowa, but is not automatic), all Homeowner policies contain an endorsement to cover damage to the interior of a home (and its contents) as the result of sewer back up or sump pump failure, even if the failure is caused by a power outage. The endorsement limit is $5,000. This is a combined limit to cover damage to the home, its contents, and any additional living expenses. Additional coverage may be purchased up to a maximum amount of $50,000.

Is there coverage for water that enters my home through basement window wells or through basement walls or floor?

There is not coverage for water that enters the home in the situations described above. Water that enters in this manner is considered surface water (or water below the surface of the ground) and is specifically excluded.

What is my deductible for windstorm and hail losses?

The standard Homeowner deductible for windstorm and hail is $1,500.

If my home and automobile are damaged in the same storm, will a deductible apply to both claims?

If the home and vehicle (or vehicles) are damaged in the same storm, the common loss deductible will apply. This means that the one largest deductible, in most cases the $1,500 Homeowner deductible, will be the only one that will be applied.

If you have any additional questions about your insurance coverage, please contact your Independent Insurance Agent.