High winds in the Puget Sound region have toppled trees and cut power to some, putting homes, businesses and vehicles at risk of wind damage.
While high-wind warnings remain in effect through today, it's important for homeowners, renters and business owners to be prepared and understand what is and what is not protected against damage caused by wind.
"Homeowners and Business Insurance policies cover wind damage to the structure of your home or business and your belongings," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. "Wind damage to vehicles from falling trees or other wind-driven objects and damage from landslide is covered if you have optional Comprehensive Coverage in your Auto Policy."
NW Insurance Council offers the following coverage facts for wind damage.
What's typically covered:
- Damage to your home from wind and falling trees.
- Removal of trees that have fallen on buildings.
- Damaged personal property (both home and renters) inside a damaged building.
- If you can't occupy your primary residence due to storm damage, additional living expenses such as increased housing costs, extra food costs, furniture rental, and storage fees.
- Costs for reasonable temporary repairs to prevent further damage to the building or contents.
- Damage caused by wind and falling trees - if you purchased optional Comprehensive Coverage.
Damage caused by landslide is also covered under the Comprehensive Coverage portion of your policy.
What's typically not covered:
- Removal of trees that have fallen in your yard without damaging a building.
Upgrades that weren't part of your home before the storm.
Damage from landslides.
- Damage to your vehicle if you don't have Comprehensive Coverage.
What to do if your home or vehicle has been damaged:
- Document damage and take pictures.
- If safe to do so, make temporary repairs to prevent further loss from rain or wind. Save receipts for reimbursement.
- If your home or property is damaged by a windstorm, contact your insurance agent or company to file a claim immediately. Filing a claim quickly enables your insurance company to get to you sooner.
- Use only licensed, reputable building contractors and be sure they get the proper building permits.
What to avoid if your home or vehicle has been damaged:
- Avoid contractors who ask for a large deposit up front or bids that are remarkably low. This may indicate a willingness to cut corners or leave work unfinished.
- Don't pay a lot for temporary repairs unless authorized by your insurance adjuster. You could get stuck with the bill if the repairs are deemed excessive.
- Don't discard anything that is damaged until it has been examined by your adjuster. You could miss out on coverage for that item.