Knowing the difference between flood damage vs wind damage can help you determine the insurance types you should carry. Learning to evaluate the differences can also guide you on whether to file an insurance claim through traditional, wind, or flood insurance.
4 Important Steps Following Flood or Wind Damage
It’s essential to take a few steps following flood or wind damage to minimize damage and property loss. Here are a few steps to take after experiencing damage in your home:
Contact a Water Restoration Company
One of the first steps Tennessee property owners may want to take after suffering damages in a heavy rain storm is to contact a restoration company. An emergency restoration company helps you get your home back to normal by assessing the damage, scheduling repairs, working with your insurance company, and removing all indications of water damage.
Distinguish the Cause of Damage
Work with your restoration company to distinguish the cause of damage. Whereas a flood insurance policy covers water damages directly related to flooding, wind damage covers costs related to high winds. If hurricane winds cause surges or flash flooding, it should be covered under your flood insurance policy.
If wind-driven rain causes extensive damage to your property, it’s unlikely to be covered under your flood policy. In many cases, roof damage from heavy rainfall or a storm surge can also cause damaged property. If you suffer water damage from heavy winds that cause damage, it also won’t likely be covered under a flood insurance policy.
Report the Damage
You’ll also want to report damage to your insurance company immediately. It can take time for the insurance company to send out an insurance adjuster. You can work with your restoration company to take photographs of the damage and file your claim.
Additionally, depending on your flood insurance company, you may be required to begin cleaning up the property to minimize damages. Once you have all the necessary information collected and notified your insurance company, it’s time to begin cleaning up.
Begin Remediation and Repairs
Damaged property from wind or water should be repaired and remediated as soon as possible. Whether the damage caused to your property was from hurricane-type winds or storms, prompt repairs and water removal can minimize damages.
Cleanup and restoration can be a big job, meaning you may want to outsource it to a professional restoration company. Your remediation company will work in coordination with the flood insurance company to ensure timely repairs and restoration.
It can also be helpful to find out what repairs will cost and how much of your claim will be covered. You may have to go back and forth with your insurance company to reach a settlement over your claim, which is where a property restoration company can come in handy. They can assist with documenting damage and tracking specific losses. In the meantime, turn off the home’s water supply to prevent additional water entering the home.
Even if your insurance coverage doesn’t include remediation, it’s crucial to begin cleanup as soon as possible. Prompt remediation of your property can help stop water from entering while reducing your out-of-pocket costs.
What Damage Is Covered by Wind and Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance covers natural disasters that lead to water damage in the home. The most common causes of flood damage include hurricanes, flash flooding, and heavy rainfall. Mudslides are also a common cause of flood damage in a home. Flood insurance can cover damages to your property or personal belongings.
Large waves and storms are also among some of the most common use of flood insurance. For example, residents in Florida and along the Atlantic Coast filed insurance claims for flood damage following Hurricane Ian.
Wind insurance covers physical damage to a household caused by heavy wind. Wind-related damage most commonly occurs during hurricanes, tornadoes, or other natural disasters. Wind insurance may also cover damage caused by wind-driven rain.
Most commonly, wind damage includes roofing or window damage. Rain can enter the property through a damaged roof or window and wreak havoc on your furniture, walls, floors, and personal belongings. Wind insurance may cover a person’s home, attached or detached structures, and personal belongings.
Filing an Insurance Claim – Is It Flood or Wind?
It’s not always clear whether the damage to your home is from flooding or a windstorm. Most flood insurance policies only cover damage directly related to flooding. Wind insurance will cover claims related to heavy winds like damaged or removed shingles.
However, it’s also possible for wind insurance to cover water entering the home, especially if the claim is due to damaged roofing. The best way to find out what’s covered and not covered under your policy is to contact your claims representative.
It can also be helpful to work with a water damage restoration company to guide you through the insurance claims process. An experienced restoration professional will fight to get you the settlement you deserve.
It’s possible to experience flood and wind problems, especially following weather from tropical storms. For instance, if wind damages your roof and rain gets inside as a result, your claim may be covered under both policies. In this case, Tennessee property owners would need to submit separate insurance claims.
What If the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim?
Insurance companies have been known to deny claims by blaming wind damage on flooding or vice versa to avoid paying. Working with a restoration company can help you prepare and file your claim.
In many cases, a thunderstorm may cause both wind and flood damage. Hurricane Ian in Florida, for example, caused many homeowners to file insurance claims against their wind and flood insurance policy.
The good news is that you have a right to appeal after hurricane damage affects your property, which is another good reason to contact a restoration company as soon as possible.
Do You Need Flood or Wind Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is usually a requirement when owning a home. However, wind and flood insurance are not always required.
Flood and wind insurance are both separate policies that differ from a traditional homeowners insurance policy. It’s important to consider your home’s location when determining if you should add either policy to your insurance.
While Tennessee homes are not in a traditional hurricane area, some cities may experience heavy winds from tropical storms. In these areas, you may need a separate wind policy. Some experts also expect tropical storm winds to increase over the next few years in some states, including Tennessee.
Understanding the National Flood Insurance Program
It’s also important to note that some communities are covered under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is regulated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and makes it easier for residential and commercial property owners to purchase affordable flood insurance.
A flood insurance policy can be expensive, which is often one of the biggest barriers to homeowners purchasing it. NFIP makes flood insurance more accessible to those with a property in areas where it may be necessary. Some insurance companies may also deny coverage if you’re in a high-risk area, making these programs beneficial to protect your building.
With an NFIP insurance policy, though, there are requirements for minimizing damages. Property owners with NFIP insurance must minimize mold growth by responding to damaged property as quickly as possible. This includes contacting a mold remediation company as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth in the first place.
Contact a Professional Restoration Company Today
There are many reasons to consider working with a professional restoration company when navigating wind or flood damage. Figuring out insurance policies and who’s responsible for what costs isn’t always easy. Working with a professional restoration company that can help navigate your insurance claims can make the whole process easier.
Contact Flood Kings Water Restoration today to restore your property quickly.