What is Windstorm Coverage?

It's a key part of many — but not all — home insurance policies. What do you need to know about windstorm insurance coverage?

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What is windstorm coverage in home insurance?

Wind and hail are among the primary named perils covered by homeowners insurance. These perils often come along with extreme weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes.

If you live in a state especially vulnerable to hurricanes, it’s important to understand the protocols you may need to follow before your insurer will cover damage to your home. Understanding whether or not you need windstorm insurance — and the circumstances under which a windstorm deductible is triggered — is essential to safeguard your dwelling with sufficient home insurance.

 

Homeowners insurance and windstorms

  1. What is windstorm insurance coverage?
  2. How do windstorm deductibles work?
  3. Do I need windstorm coverage?
  4. How much does windstorm coverage cost?
  5. Where to get windstorm insurance if you can’t get coverage

 


 

What is windstorm insurance for a home?

While windstorm damage is a covered peril under most homeowners insurance policies, coverage for wind damage is not always guaranteed and sometimes depends on your exact address. Your insurance company may require a separate windstorm deductible — also known as a hurricane deductible, wind and hail deductible, or named storm deductible — if a hurricane strikes and inflicts damage upon your home. In some regions, insurance companies may specifically refuse windstorm coverage in a homeowners policy, requiring you to either supplement it with a windstorm endorsement or a separate policy via a state insurance pool.

Despite the term “hurricane deductible,” hurricanes are not a covered peril; instead, what’s covered are the sources of the damage caused by hurricanes, like extreme wind and hail. What triggers a hurricane deductible varies by state, insurer, and whether or not the tropical storm is “named.” Storm surges and subsequent flooding are also common accessories to windstorm events. In these cases, you’ll need flood insurance to cover physical damage to your home and your personal property.

 


 

What is a windstorm deductible?

As discussed above, your insurance company may impose a separate deductible for wind and hail damage if you reside along the coast or other areas susceptible to windstorms. Hurricane deductibles are a type of wind damage deductible and are only triggered when a hurricane occurs. Windstorm deductibles are less restrictive and can be applied to any source of wind damage — including hurricane damage.

These deductibles can take shape of either a fixed amount or a percentage of the insured value of your home; this typically ranges from 1% to 5% of your dwelling coverage limit but can be higher — up to 10% — if you live in a coastal area. For instance, if your home is worth $300,000 and your deductible is 2% of its insured value, the total you pay out-of-pocket before insurance steps in would be $6,000. Refer to your policy’s declarations page or ask your insurance agent to find out which deductible applies to you and your home. Typical percentage deductible amounts are 1%, 2%, 3%, and 5%, while fixed deductible amounts can range from $500 to $5,000.

Depending on your location, you may be able to choose a fixed deductible amount in exchange for a higher premium. However, it’s less likely that higher-risk coastal homes will be offered this flexibility.

 


 

What states have windstorm insurance deductibles?

Currently, 19 states, plus Washington, D.C., mandate windstorm and hurricane deductibles: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. If you live in one of these states, check the details of wind and hail coverage in your homeowners policy documents.

See below state-by-state average rates and how your premium can change depending on what kind of deductible you have (percentage-based or a flat amount).

 

ANNUAL PREMIUMS BY DEDUCTIBLE TYPE AND AMOUNT
State1%2%$1,000$2,500$5,000
Alabama$1,613$1,989$1,591$1,618$1,383
Connecticut$1,077$1,025$1,174$955$937
Delaware----$617$606$546
Florida----$2,767$2,756$2,588
Georgia$1,262$931$1,222$1,134$1,062
Louisiana$2,138$1,744$2,679$2,170$2,524
Massachusetts$996$987$1,165$1,276$1,076
Maryland$1,585$1,577$936$948$929
Maine$723$637$875$639$715
Mississippi$1,403$1,074$1,763$2,728$1,570
North Carolina$1,610--$2,291--$1,519
New Jersey$681$465$957$982$849
New York$1,195--$1,112$1,066$1,065
Pennsylvania$776$726$551$579$582
Rhode Island$1,804$1,788$900$880$856
South Carolina$1,946$2,552$1,303$1,275$1,226
Texas$1,907$2,209$2,374$2,146$1,937
Virginia----$828$721$664

 

Because insurance is regulated at the state level, certain laws may dictate how insurance companies in each state handle windstorm deductibles and whether or not policyholders can choose either a percentage or fixed amount deductible.

For example, in Texas, a windstorm deductible applies to any type of wind damage, not limited to hurricanes and named storms. However, in Florida, a hurricane must be declared by the National Weather Service to trigger a hurricane deductible, and it only applies for damage that occurred from the time the warning is issued and up to 72 hours after the warning ends.

 


 

How much does windstorm coverage cost?

Below are average annual rates for windstorm homeowners coverage from some major insurance carriers, using a standard homeowners profile, detailed in this methodology. Use these rates as a jumping-off point, as our homeowners profile likely differs from yours.

Insurance companyAverage annual premium
Allstate$1,041
American Family$1,446
Erie$841
Farmers$1,376
Liberty Mutual$1,199
MetLife$1,189
Nationwide$880
State Farm$1,428
Travelers$1,255
USAA$1,346

 

Rates can vary quite drastically depending on your location. Below are average annual rates in states that mandate hurricane and windstorm deductibles. Coastal states — especially those along the Gulf of Mexico — tend to have the most expensive premiums due to their higher-risk locations.

 

StateAverage annual premium
Alabama$1,690
Connecticut$1,037
Delaware$547
Florida$2,225
Georgia$1,172
Hawaii$255
Louisiana$2,249
Massachusetts$1,057
Maryland$1,093
Maine$734
Mississippi$1,667
North Carolina$1,681
New Jersey$808
New York$1,130
Pennsylvania$679
Rhode Island$1,174
South Carolina$1,679
Texas$2,094
Virginia$747
Washington, D.C.$696

 


 

Alternative windstorm insurance options

If you live in a vulnerable area, windstorm insurance can cost a pretty penny every year and may even be unaffordable. You may also be denied windstorm coverage if you live in a high-risk location, like a coastal region. If you can’t find windstorm insurance coverage for your home, consider looking into government-offered options.

For instance, homeowners in Texas who are not eligible for wind and hail coverage can obtain it through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Florida homeowners can look into coverage through the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (CPIC).

FAIR Plans and Beach Plans

Known as Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plans, FAIR Plans are available in every state and meant to be an insurer of last resort if your home is not eligible for a windstorm policy or other coverages elsewhere. This is because it’s typically pricier than private insurance but offers less coverage. What’s covered is dictated by each state’s individual FAIR Plan program.

Beach Plans operate in a similar way and are also last resort options for homeowners who can’t get windstorm coverage. The difference is that not every state has a Beach Plan — they’re only offered in specific coastal areas — and these policies only cover wind and hurricane damage.

FAIR Plans by state

If you can’t find homeowners insurance coverage for your high-risk home, look into your state’s insurance offerings. Get a quote by contacting your state’s FAIR Plan, listed below.

StatePhone Number
Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association334-943-4029
California FAIR Plan Association213-487-0111
Connecticut FAIR Plan860-528-9546
Insurance Placement Facility of Delaware215-629-8800
District of Columbia Property Insurance Facility202-393-4640
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation866-411-2742
Georgia Underwriting Association770-923-7431
Hawaii Property Insurance Association808-531-1311
Illinois FAIR Plan Association312-861-0385
Indiana Basic Property Insurance Underwriting Association317-264-2310
Iowa FAIR Plan Association515-255-9531
Kansas All-Industry Placement Facility785-271-2300
Kentucky FAIR Plan Reinsurance Association502-425-9998
Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation504-831-6930
Maryland Joint Insurance Association410-539-6808
Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association617-723-3800
Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association313-877-7400
Minnesota FAIR Plan612-338-7584
Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association601-981-2915
Missouri Property Insurance Placement Facility314-421-0170
New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association973-622-3838
New Mexico Property Insurance Program505-878-9563
New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association212-208-9700
North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association - FAIR Plan919-821-1299
Ohio FAIR Plan Underwriting Association614-839-6446
Oregon FAIR Plan Association503-643-5448
Insurance Placement Facility of Pennsylvania215-629-8800
Rhode Island Joint Reinsurance Association617-723-3800
South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association803-737-6180
Texas FAIR Plan Association512-899-4900
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association800-788-8247
Virginia Property Insurance Association800-899-7973
Washington FAIR Plan425-745-9808
West Virginia Essential Property Insurance Association215-629-8800
Wisconsin Insurance Plan414-291-5353

 

Have questions? Interested in learning more about homeowners insurance? Call The Zebra today to explore your options.


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Recent Questions:

What is Windstorm Coverage?

Does liability cover my damages caused by a windstorm?

Unfortunately, no. The damage to your car will not be covered if you only have liability insurance.

Tree limb snapped and damaged neighbors property who is at fault

This can be a tricky subject. If the tree was healthy and fell due to a covered loss, which considering the storm you've experienced may be the case, your neighbor would need to file a claim with their home insurance policy.