Does Your Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

While many East Coast residents face headaches related to Hurricane Irene flooding, homeowners across the country often pay little attention to potential danger from natural disasters.

A study from insurance company MetLife says that damage from windstorm or hail and lightning is included in most homeowners’ policies, whereas damage from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is usually not covered. Also, foundation damage from earth movement and water damage from a sewer or sump-pump are usually not be covered — unless you have secured additional coverage.

But Judy Spry, partner in the insurance claims services practice at BDO Consulting, said for many business policies, “named wind storm” coverage and resulting flooding is usually considered the same cause of damage. Also, it may or may not be relevant that Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm in many areas along the East Coast.

“Every insurance policy is unique, so it is best to check with your insurance agent or broker,” she said.

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