If you’ve been house hunting in Texas or just recently purchased a home on the coast or further inland, you should be aware of a variety of storm related conditions that can occur because of hurricanes. In addition, you’ll want to protect your investment by making sure you have adequate homeowners insurance to cover hurricanes and storms.
You’ll definitely want to reconsider your homeowners insurance in Texas when you realize hurricanes can invoke tornadoes, torrential rains, storm surges and high winds.
Most folks aren’t aware that hurricanes have the power to spawn tornadoes, which affect areas several hundred miles inland. Powerful tornadoes can unleash terrible winds causing huge amounts of destruction.
Severe flooding frequently occurs from torrential rains caused by hurricanes and it’s typically heavier with slower moving storms. Even if you’re not in the direct path of a hurricane, you could suffer from damaging floods costing you thousands of dollars if you don’t have the proper homeowners insurance.
For those folks living relatively close to the coastline, storm surges are a major consideration. Storm surges are a naturally occurring result of hurricanes, which cause massive amounts of seawater to rise out of the ocean and hit land. They can be as little as a couple of feet in height or 18 feet or more above the normal level of the sea. With this much force, they can easily batter homes and buildings to shreds.
Typical hurricane winds average a minimum of just 74 mph and increase speed as they develop. The force of category 5 storms have winds with the ability to literally uproot trees, tear off roofs, down power lines and rip homes right off their foundations.
Evaluating Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage
No one can predict whether your home will be in the path of a hurricane or be hit by floodwaters from storm surges. The one sure thing that we do know is that hurricanes and tropical storms are unpredictable. Because storms of these magnitudes can strike quickly and cause so much damage, you should consider purchasing additional policies beyond the standard homeowners insurance coverage in Texas.
If you’re new to the Texas area, it would be a good idea to meet with your insurance agent to discuss your homeowners insurance policy. Ask about endorsements or additional policies that cover high risks like flooding and windstorms because these are not included in standard homeowners insurance policies.
If you feel that your home could be at risk for damages from hurricanes and windstorms, your agent can purchase a policy through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
Your local insurance agent can also work on your behalf to purchase a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program administered by FEMA.
Besides purchasing hurricane and flood insurance to compliment your homeowners insurance coverage, now is a good time to evaluate whether you’re carrying high enough coverage limits on all your personal property items. Check to see that collectibles, antiques, paintings, electronics or new purchases are covered within your homeowners insurance coverage.
Evaluating your current homeowners insurance and updating it periodically against a variety of perils helps to protect homeowners from risks. It’s a good idea to get additional policies for floods and hurricanes in place before new storms come on the scene when you may no longer be eligible for last minute changes.