Hurricanes can cause extensive damage to your home, personal belongings, and ultimately your financial situation. These storms cause create numerous sources of damage, including strong winds, storm surge, and flooding from excessive rainfall. But unfortunately, homeowners insurance alone may not cover the entire cost of rebuilding your home if it's destroyed by a hurricane.
Different types of tropical storm damage require different types of hurricane insurance coverage. With the 2023 hurricane season right around the corner, now is the time to see if your adequately covered. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to get the right amount of hurricane insurance for your home.
What is hurricane insurance?
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, it's important to have the right combination of insurance policies to cover your home from wind and flood damage. You should consider two types of insurance in addition to your existing homeowners insurance policy. This will ensure your home is properly protected.
If you live in an area at high risk of flooding, consider purchasing flood insurance to cover flood damage. Most flood insurance policies are provided by the federally funded National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) but sold by private companies. You may also have the option of purchasing private flood insurance that offers more complete protection than the NFIP plan.
Wind damage often isn't covered by homeowners insurance policies in hurricane-prone areas of the U.S., including Texas, Florida, and Hawaii. If you live in one of these states and lack wind coverage, you may need to purchase separate windstorm insurance.
Does home insurance cover hurricane wind & flood damage?
While homeowners insurance often covers hurricane wind damage, whether or not you're covered will depend on your home's location and risk.
However, most home insurance policies won't cover flood damage under any circumstances, including from hurricane storm surge or rainfall. To fill in this coverage gap, you’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
“Lack of flood insurance remains the largest insurance gap we see across the country,” says Mark Friedlander, spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute. “Only about 15% of U.S. homeowners carry flood insurance, while many mistakenly think their homeowners policy includes flood coverage, which is sold separately.”
In several coastal states, insurance companies may cover wind damage, but they'll often charge higher deductibles for damage caused by hurricanes. If you live in a high-risk coastal area and your insurer doesn't cover wind damage, you'll need separate windstorm insurance.
How to get windstorm insurance
You generally have three options for purchasing windstorm insurance. You can buy it through your home insurance provider, a surplus lines carrier, or your state's FAIR Plan. Surplus lines insurance and FAIR Plan are policy options of last resort. This means if you're only eligible for coverage after you've been declined coverage multiple times by a standard company.
Here's a listed of state insurance associations that offered last-resort windstorm insurance coverage:
Learn more >> How to prepare for a hurricane today
A homeowners insurance deductible is the amount you're responsible for paying when you file a claim for property damage or theft. For example, say you have a policy deductible of $1,000 and your home suffers $10,000 in covered damage. If you file a claim, you're responsible for covering the first $1,000 of the damage. Your insurance company would then pay you the remaining $9,000.
Most home insurance deductibles are expressed as whole dollar amounts, like $500 or $1,000. However, insurance providers in 19 coastal states and Washington D.C. may require a higher separate deductible for wind damage. These deductibles are often referred to as special hurricane, named storm, or wind deductibles.
Despite their similarities, the way these deductibles are activated is distinct.
Windstorm deductible: This deductible applies to wind damage from any source of wind damage, whether a tornado, hurricane, or thunderstorm.
Named storm deductible: This deductible applies to wind damage from named tropical storms. It is activated once the National Weather Service or National Hurricane Center officially assigns a name to the storm. Damage caused by regular windstorms does not trigger named storm deductibles.
Hurricane deductible: This deductible applies to damage from wind that's strong enough to be considered a hurricane. Hurricane deductible typically take effect once the National Weather Service or National Hurricane Center report wind speeds greater than 74 mph.
These deductibles are referred to as percentage deductibles. This is in contrast to standard dollar amount deductibles. Percentage deductibles usually range from 1% to 5% of the home's insured value.
How much is hurricane insurance?
How much you pay for hurricane insurance depends on where you live and how much coverage you have.
For example, here’s how much you could expect to pay for hurricane insurance in a high-risk coastal area in Texas. 
$3,080: The average yearly cost of homeowners insurance in Texas
$643: The average yearly cost of flood insurance in Texas 
$1,700: The average annual cost of a Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) plan 
That amounts to $5,423 in total premiums in the hardest hit areas of Texas. Keep in mind that your own policy costs could vary greatly depending on where you live and how much coverage you need.
Guide to hurricane insurance claims
When filing a home, windstorm, or flood insurance claim, be sure to do the following:
Contact your insurance company. Get in touch with your insurance provider right away to report the incident and start your claims process. Your insurer will likely inform you if the damage is covered and how long you have to file a claim. Finally, they may give you additional steps to ensure a speedy claim settlement.
Document the damage. Once it's safe to enter your home, take photos or videos of your property before cleaning up or making temporary repairs. Make sure to save any additional living expenses such as hotel and restaurant receipts, as your policy may cover them. Lastly, be prepared to meet with the adjuster.
File the insurance claim. In the aftermath of a hurricane, it is critical that you submit your insurance claim as soon as possible. Insurance companies are often inundated with claims following a natural disaster, so the quicker you can fill out your claim forms, the faster you'll get paid.
Document additional living expenses. If you had to flee your home due to extensive structural damage, hold onto hotel and restaurant receipts. Your policy’s loss of use coverage will likely reimburse you for these expenses, but you’ll need to provide proof.
Prepare for the adjuster. An insurance adjuster may assess the damage and confirm details about the claim before you're reimbursed for the damage. During this part of the claims process, the adjuster may inspect the home in person and ask you a few questions.
Once you agree to a settlement amount with your insurer, you’ll receive a payout and be one step closer to getting your home back to normal.