Spring and early summer are a high time for changing weather currents. Changing seasons often result in severe weather.
A responsible homeowner knows that it is always a good idea to prepare for the chance of severe weather. Most instances of severe weather strike with relatively little warning. Preparing a home for the chance of severe weather can help you reduce your insurance risks later.
Home Insurance and Weather Coverage
Most home insurance policies cover damages your home may sustain from severe weather. It might help you repair damages and replace certain items of property. However, weather coverage in home insurance is not exhaustive.
Home insurance usually excludes certain weather damages. Therefore, homeowners should make sure that policies cover risks unique to their location.
Furthermore, the standard home insurance policy usually doesn’t cover weather damages caused by two conditions that are common to Florida—floods and hurricanes. Most homeowners have to buy separate policies to cover these weather phenomena.
Homeowners have a responsibility to review their coverage before severe weather strikes. You likely can’t add coverage to your policy in the immediate lead up to a storm. Insurance companies often opt-out of writing new coverage if severe weather threatens.
Reinforcing Your Home
Always remember to annually inspect your home’s vital systems. Doing so can help you catch small problems so that they don’t turn into big ones when severe weather threatens. This can help you reduce your insurance risks.
- Inspect your home’s roof. The roof is one of the home’s most at-risk structures in the event of severe weather. Check the roof’s seals, shingles and interior for signs of water damage, rot or mold. The roof should be able to withstand wind, hail and other precipitation. Roofs generally last about ten years. If your roof is reaching the end of its life, consider replacing the structure.
- If your home has a chimney, inspect it. Chimneys could sustain damage or topple in severe weather. A toppled chimney could easily cause damages to your home and even other properties.
- Make sure your home’s brickwork, siding and other construction materials are intact and free of damage. Check these materials for signs of rot, mold, or corrosion.
- Check the home’s windows and doors. These outlets must remain secure during severe weather to better protect your home. Make sure that the structures still fit securely into their wells. Check for loose hinges or broken locks. Looks for any signs of cracked glass.
- Look around your home’s foundations. Foundations help to keep the home stable and sealed during severe weather. Check around the foundation for signs of cracks or shifts. Sealing and stabilizing the foundation will help keep the home anchored during severe weather. It will also help keep out any water or moisture.
- Clean out the home’s gutters and drains. Also make sure that these systems don’t leak. They must direct water away from the home at a safe distance. Properly functioning drains and gutters reduce a home’s flood risks.
- A home’s electrical systems sometimes come under stress during severe weather. If an electrical system doesn’t function correctly, it could put you at risk for power losses and fires. Inspecting your home’s electrical system helps increase its security. Consider shutting off non-essential electrical items in your home during severe weather.
- Take care of shrubbery and trees around your property. In the event of severe weather, trees can fall and loose shrubbery can damage homes. One step is to cut back branches and limbs that overhang your home. Doing so can prevent falling items from crashing through the structure. Also keep a close eye out for dead shrubbery, branches and trees. Dead vegetation poses a much higher damage risk to your home. Remove these items from your property as soon as you notice them.
- Look around your property. If you see an item that might become a safety risk during severe weather, try to get rid of the risk. For example, lawn furniture left out during high winds may become airborne projectiles. Consider tying down these items or storing them inside your home during weather. Learn more about how to protect your home from wind damages.
Remember, every home insurance policy is different. It may not cover every instance of damage. However, home insurance policies often won’t cover damages that occurred because a homeowner neglected the property.
Perhaps you haven’t replaced your roof despite a clear need, and a severe storm damages the roof. Your home insurance company may deem that you could have prevented the damages with a better roof. They might deny your claim.
Make sure that you take steps before severe weather strikes to properly secure your home. That is the best way to maximize the chances of home insurance covering your repairs.
We’ve got you covered. If you need Tampa home insurance, we can help you get a fast, free quote. Call us at 800.966.6481 for more information.