Does homeowners insurance cover wind damage?

Yes, homeowners insurance typically covers wind damage, including wind damage to your home and roof.

Pat Howard 1600Kara McGinley

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Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Managing Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

&Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

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Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®

Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®

Certified Financial Planner

Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

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Homeowners insurance protects your home and personal belongings from different types of weather damage, including wind-driven storms. That means property damage caused by tornadoes, hurricanes, and other windstorms are all typically covered by homeowners insurance, but there may be exclusions and nuances to your coverage depending on where you live.

Key takeaways

  • Windstorm and hail damage are covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy.

  • That means your home insurance will pay to repair damage like siding ripped off in a windstorm, roof damage from high winds, or toppled fences.

  • If you live in a Gulf or Atlantic Coast state, or a Midwestern state at heightened risk of tornados, you may need to pay a separate wind and hail deductible.

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What is considered wind damage?

Many different types of storms bring along heavy winds. Homeowners insurance will typically cover wind damage caused by:

Keep in mind that if you live in a tornado or hurricane prone area, you may have to pay a separate deductible for wind damage. We will get into that more below.

Is wind damage covered by homeowners insurance?

Property losses from heavy winds and hail storms are the most frequent cause of homeowners insurance claims. [1]  Below is how the different components of your homeowners policy covers wind damage.

  • Dwelling coverage: Pays to rebuild or repair the structure of your home if it’s damaged during a windstorm. 

  • Other structures coverage: Pays to rebuild or repair other structures on your property — like a shed or pool house — if any are damaged by wind.

  • Personal property coverage: Pays to replace your personal belongings if they’re damaged or destroyed during a windstorm.

  • Loss of use coverage: Pays for additional living expenses — like hotel stays, restaurant meals, storage unit fees — if you need to temporarily live elsewhere while your home is being rebuilt after a windstorm.

When does homeowners insurance cover wind damage?

Here are some common instances of when wind damage would be covered by homeowners insurance.

1. Wind damage to your roof

The part of your home perhaps most susceptible to wind damage is your roof. Whether a section of shingles is removed or your entire roof is torn off by a tornado, you’d be covered by homeowners insurance. Your insurance company may pay for roof repairs or replacement, depending on the extent of the damage.

2. Wind damage to fences

Homeowners insurance also covers wind damage to fences, under the other structures component in your homeowners insurance policy, which covers exterior structures like fences, sheds and detached garages. 

3. Tree removal

If a windstorm causes a tree to fall onto a covered structure (like your home, garage, or fence) or blocks your driveway, homeowners insurance will pay up to $1,000 to remove it from your property. You would also be reimbursed for property damage caused by the fallen tree

4. Wind damage to your windows and siding

If your windows are blown out in a wind-driven weather event or the siding of your home or any other structure on your property sustains wind damage, that would also be covered by the dwelling or other structures provisions in your policy.

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How do deductibles work for wind damage?

In many states, when you file a claim for wind damage you pay your regular homeowners insurance deductible, and then your insurance kicks in the rest. 

But in 19 states and Washington, D.C., most insurance companies have separate windstorm insurance policies that include a separate deductible that must be paid before you can be reimbursed for wind damage that occurs during a hurricane or named storm. And some insurers in tornado-prone states in the Southeast and Midwest will charge separate wind and hail deductibles, depending on the specific risks associated with your home.

If your policy has a wind and hail deductible, the amount you pay is a percentage of the total amount for which your home is insured. These deductibles are also commonly known as “percentage” deductibles, as opposed to your standard dollar amount deductible for all other perils.

Here’s an example. 

Say your home is insured for $300,000 and you have a wind and hail deductible of 5%, you’d have to pay $15,000 (300,000 x 0.05) before you’d be covered for a wind and hail-related loss. A higher percentage can lower the cost of homeowners insurance, but keep in mind that you’ll need to pay out more in the event of a loss. 

→ Learn more about hurricane and wind/hail deductibles

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How to prevent wind damage to your home

There are several things you can do to better secure your home against strong winds, according to FEMA. [2]  

  • Install storm shutters to protect your windows from breaking

  • Reinforce garage doors

  • Inspect and repair your roof regularly

  • Keep your gutters clear of debris

  • Trim or remove dead or damaged trees and shrubbery 

  • Secure outdoor furniture or bring it inside during a storm

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

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  1. Insurance Information Institute

    . "

    Facts + Statistics: Homeowners and renters insurance

    ." Accessed February 25, 2022.

  2. FEMA

    . "

    Protect your property from severe winds

    ." Accessed July 19, 2022.

Authors

Managing Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard

Managing Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

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Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

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Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

Expert reviewer

Certified Financial Planner

Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®

Certified Financial Planner

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Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

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