Snowstorms, summer tornado season, heavy rain—when you live in Minnesota, your home has to face any number of storm damage hazards in every season. Luckily, there are experienced storm restoration services aplenty, and luckily, you probably have an insurance policy that will help cover them: homeowners insurance.
But don’t make any assumptions! While many home lenders will only seal the deal with you provided you purchase such insurance, that doesn’t mean that that insurance necessarily covers all exterior mishaps. Indeed, all insurance policies are highly individualized, and each homeowner will have different add-ons (or lack thereof) that provide them (or don’t) with additional compensation should the unthinkable happen.
While the only way to know for sure if your insurance policy covers your damage is to consult with an agent, the experienced storm damage repair pros at Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors are here with a few generalizations to lead you in the right direction. Read on to learn what storm damage homeowners insurance usually does—and doesn’t—cover.
Where Homeowners Insurance Has Your Back
According to Allstate, a renowned insurance provider, homeowners insurance typically covers damage to your dwelling, which means your home, and other structures on your property. They also state that “typical homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for damage caused by fires, lightning strikes, windstorms and hail.” That might seem pretty straightforward—just call a storm restoration pro whenever you notice damage after a covered event, right?
Not quite! Homeowners insurance policies generally won’t cover things that are a result of a lack of maintenance. This means that if, say, your siding replacement needs are a result of mold that comes from a lack of upkeep, you might be out of luck when it comes to benefits.
In order for something to be covered by home insurance, the break must come directly from the covered event. That’s why it’s important to make sure your home is regularly serviced by a general exterior contractor; if it’s in tip-top shape before a storm and then suddenly becomes dilapidated, it’s obvious that the covered event caused the damage and any ambiguity is avoided.
How Much Homeowners Insurance Has Your Back
Again, this is individualistic. How much money you get out of a given event depends on the extent of the damage and how much you’ve paid out of your deductible—the fixed amount of money you pay before full coverage kicks in. That being said, there are two broad types of homeowners insurance that affect how much money you’re given for a given incident, and knowing them can make the difference between peace of mind and heart wrenching disappointment.
Actual Cash Value Policies
These policies consider depreciation when the company factors out how much you’re owed. Any exterior renovation, from seamless siding to seamless gutters, depreciates in value over time simply due to unavoidable wear and tear. Though you can avoid some of this depreciation with proper storm restoration, maintenance, and a smart installation job, time will have its way with everything.
It might be more affordable in many cases, but this policy type generally isn’t one to expect to come through for you in a pinch. Because it deducts age-related deterioration from its payouts, you might find yourself struggling to pay for more expensive renovations, such as roof replacement.
Replacement Cost Homeowners Insurance
These policies don’t consider depreciation when you file a claim. In other words, they use current figures to assess how much you are to be given when an unexpected windstorm or the like strikes. Replacement cost homeowners insurance policies might run you a little more when it comes to monthly payments, but they provide much more comprehensive coverage monetarily than actual cash value policies—and much more peace of mind.
How Long Does it Take for Homeowners Insurance to Pay Out?
The short answer: it varies. Depending on how large the workload is at the company and any possible disputes between you and your policyholder, it can take weeks or it can take months. As a general rule, disputes regarding coverage storm damage and similar occurrences will mean that your timeframe is lengthened.
Shortening things up is sometimes beyond your control, but you can do your part to speed the process along. Take as many photos of the damage as you can, for one; a comprehensive look will help with a comprehensive assessment. You also can partner with a storm damage restoration pro who is familiar with insurance policies who can help you get everything squared away and avoid potential time-consuming errors.
Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors: Storm Damage and Insurance Pros
With our decades in the storm damage restoration business, we’ve worked with countless insurance companies; we’d be happy to help file a claim with yours per your request. For storm damage help that’s truly on your side, give our Sauk Rapids office a call today at 320-252-9086.