(WHTM) — Hurricane Ian should be a reminder to everyone that it is a good idea to check up on your homeowner’s insurance every now and then. Because your coverage may be much less than you think.
Josiah Jouett watched as a tree fell on her neighbor’s home.
“I saw the tree fall and I knew people lived in there, and wanted to make sure everyone was okay,” Jouett said.
The good news is that everyone is fine. But, after Hurricane Ian and in many cases, homeowners are discovering they have to pay thousands of dollars for storm cleanup.
That is because most insurance policies do not cover trees downed by wind, according to Jennifer Pike of the Insurance Board.
“If a tree comes down in your yard and it causes no damage, but just falls in your yard, unfortunately, that falls on you,” Pike said.
Pike always says if a tree hit your roof or the wind ripped off shingles, your homeowner’s insurance should cover cleanup and repair costs. However, if a tree hit your roof without damaging anything else, you are typically not covered. Unless you have a “rider” for trees and landscaping.
Even if your policy will pick up the pieces after a storm, what kind of coverage you have makes a difference. Because, a basic policy may not want to pay for top-quality windows, real wood siding or granite counters. You should try to have full replacement coverage, which will restore everything in today’s dollars.
Finally, many Hurricane Ian victims are discovering they weren’t covered for the water damage to their homes, because flood insurance is a totally different policy, and it is only mandatory if you live in a flood zone.
Your best bet is to give your agent a call and see if you bare covered for floods, fallen trees, and full replacement costs, so you don’t waste your money.