What Hurricane Ian Damage Should My Insurance Policy Cover?

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What Hurricane Ian Damage Should My Insurance Policy Cover?

What Hurricane Ian Damage Should My Insurance Policy Cover?On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall along the southwest coast of Florida as a Category 5 hurricane. Ian’s 18-foot storm surge, winds in excess of 155 m.p.h, and torrential rainfall caused catastrophic and historic damage to homes and businesses. If your home or business was damaged during Hurricane Ian, you undoubtedly want to know what damage your insurance policy will cover.

What Hurricane Damage Does Homeowner’s Insurance Typically Cover?

The average homeowner doesn’t read through the fine print when they purchase an insurance policy. Unfortunately, that means that when a storm like Hurricane Ian hits, causing devastating damage to a home, most homeowners are surprised to learn what is and what is not covered by their insurance policy.

A typical homeowners policy covers damage caused by natural disasters such as wind, rain, and fire; however, there are also exclusions, limitations, and deductibles that may apply to that coverage. Knowing what to look for and how to interpret your insurance coverage is crucial following a hurricane.

In addition to covering the cost of repairing or replacing your home (subject to exclusions and limitations) a homeowner’s insurance policy usually covers damage to attached and detached structures, such as a shed or garage. Unless you specified a higher (or lower) amount, the “structures” coverage will typically be a percentage (10 percent is standard) of the coverage amount for the primary residence. Possessions located inside the home are also usually insured based on a percentage (50-75 percent is typical) of the value of your home while trees, shrubs, and other landscape items may be covered using a set amount per item or a pre-determined schedule. Finally, you should be entitled to coverage for living expenses, such as a hotel, meals, and laundry expenses, if your home is uninhabitable because of covered losses.

What Hurricane Damage Might Not Be Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?

Trying to determine what Hurricane Ian damage will not be covered can be difficult because it can vary greatly from one policy to another and is heavily dependent on the precise circumstances surrounding the losses claimed. Nevertheless, the following list is a good place to start when looking for potential non-insured losses:

  • Flooding. Losses caused by flood waters are not included in a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. You must purchase separate coverage from your insurance company or from the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Earth movement. Mudslides, sinkholes, and other natural disasters that fall under the category of “earth movement” are also commonly excluded from a basic homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Coastal winds. Some insurance companies do not cover wind damage if a homeowner lives close to coastal waters (which applies to a significant percentage of Florida homeowners). Like flood insurance, a homeowner must purchase a “coastal policy” from a state insurance program.
  • Excess losses. Every homeowner’s insurance policy has maximum coverage amounts that should cover a complete tear-down and replacement of your home; however, if you have not reviewed your coverage amounts lately you may find that your losses exceed your maximum coverage.
  • Hurricane deductible. Damage caused by a hurricane is usually treated differently in a homeowner’s insurance policy. Florida law allows a separate hurricane deductible to be triggered by windstorm losses from the time the National Weather Service issues a hurricane watch or warning for any part of Florida, up to 72 hours after such a watch or warning ends, and anytime hurricane conditions exist throughout the state. Insurance companies are required by law to offer average hurricane deductibles of $500, 2 percent, 5 percent, and 10 percent of the policy’s dwelling limit.


What Should My Commercial Insurance Policy Cover?

If you own commercial property, your insurance policy may cover additional Hurricane Ian losses that would not be covered under a homeowner’s policy. For example, a commercial policy typically does cover losses stemming from flood waters. A standard commercial insurance policy also covers things such as business interruption losses that may reimburse you for lost income resulting from hurricane damage to commercial property. You may even be covered if your property did not sustain damage, but you suffered lost income because of damage to the surrounding area that resulted in supplies and/or customers being unable to reach your business. Service interruption coverage may also offer reimbursement if utility outages resulted in direct losses or losses of income.

Get Help from An Experienced Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim Attorney

Hurricane Ian will go down in the records books as one of the costliest storms to ever hit the State of Florida. It will take months, if not years, for homeowners and businesses to recover and rebuild. If your home or business was damaged by Hurricane Ian, it helps to know what to expect from your insurance policy. A Hurricane Ian insurance claim attorney at Malik Law P.A. can review your insurance policy and provide you with invaluable insight into what should be covered and what might not be covered. If your insurance company delays, underpays or denies a valid claim, we can help get your claim paid in full.

If you suffered Hurricane Ian damage and want to know what to expect from the claim process, call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced insurance claims attorneys will explain your rights to you and discuss your legal options at no cost.

Imran Malik
Imran Malik
Imran Malik, rated AV® Preeminent, by Martindale-Hubbell, is the founding member of Malik Law P.A. An AV® Rating signifies that a lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence. He has practiced law for a number of years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity by fellow attorneys in his area of practice. Martindale-Hubbell is the oldest and most trusted lawyer information service in America.