Am I Required to Carry Windstorm Insurance?

If you own a home in a coastal state, such as Florida, you may be required to carry windstorm insurance to protect yourself from hurricane damage. While the state may not require you to carry coverage, it is almost a certainty that your mortgage company will require you to provide proof of coverage as a closing condition.

What is windstorm insurance?

Windstorm insurance provides coverage specific to damage caused by high windstorms, like those found with hurricanes and tornadoes. It is designed to help you cover the damage to your home as a result of a storm that affects your local area. If it is not required by your state, your mortgage lender may require a certain amount of coverage before allowing you to officially purchase your home.

Your real estate agent will be able to provide more information about the requirements in your area, as they vary from state to state, and from county to county, depending on the location’s storm risk.

You are free to shop around for your own windstorm insurance, so you can make sure you get the best possible rate given you home’s condition and location. If you plan on buying an older home, you will likely have to pay more for coverage because it is not as likely to be built with wind mitigation features.

How much can I expect to spend on windstorm insurance?

How much you can expect to spend on windstorm insurance depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The location of your home.
  • The storm risk in your local area.
  • The age of your home.
  • How many wind mitigation features are in your home.
  • The required policy and coverage amounts as set forth by your mortgage lender.

Premiums are often adjusted based on the number of storms that come through the area over recent years. The more active a hurricane season, the more risk the insurance company assumes. They must make up for what they pay out in damages by ensuring they get enough in premiums.

You may be able to save money by paying the premium annually, rather than monthly or semi-annually.

How can I save on windstorm insurance?

You can save on your windstorm insurance premium by making improvements to your home that will make it more wind resistant. You can do this in a number of ways, but it will be up to your insurance company to determine which improvements it will consider for a discount.

Start by hiring a certified wind mitigation inspector. The inspection will run about $100 to $150 and take less than an hour to complete. At the end of the inspection, he or she will present a form that you can take your insurance company to see what discounts you may qualify for.

The results of the inspection will also help you see areas where you can make improvements to the home to make it safer when a storm hits. Some improvements may result in an expensive initial investment, but they will pay for themselves in terms of insurance discounts and peace of mind.

I’m a renter: what’s it mean for me?

If you are a renter, your landlord will be the one who must carry the windstorm insurance policy. However, if you need renter’s insurance, your insurance company may ask you to provide proof of windstorm insurance coverage before they give you a policy.

The insurance company may grant a renter’s insurance policy without proof of windstorm insurance, but will do so at a higher rate because of the risk you represent to them as a company.

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