Wind damage in Swedesboro NJ, Wind Damage in Sewell NJ,
Q: Am I required to have homeowners insurance?
A: It is always smart to have a good homeowners insurance policy, even if you don't owe any money on your home. If you have a mortgage, home equity loan, or use your home as collateral, your lender will require you to maintain insurance.
Q: Are all homeowners insurance policies the same?
A: There are many different types of insurance policies. Levels of coverage, exclusions and limits of liability vary greatly. Some policies provide basic coverage, while others offer broad coverage and high levels of protection.
Q: Does my homeowners insurance cover all types of storm damage?
A: It depends on your policy. Most homeowners insurance policies cover storms including hail, tornado and wind damage. But, floods and earthquakes usually require additional coverage. It is always smart to check your policy to see exactly what is covered.
Q: Is replacement cost the same as the sale price of my home?
A: Not necessarily. The replacement cost is the actual cost to rebuild your home in the event it is completely destroyed, which may be more or less than the market value, or sale price.
Q: What does a homeowners insurance policy cover?
A: Homeowners insurance covers the repair or replacement of your home and its contents up to defined limits. Your policy may also include a liability policy, which protects you in the event someone is injured on your property due to your negligence.
Q: What are the various types of coverage included in a homeowners policy?
A: To determine the types of coverage you have, check the declarations page of your insurance policy. Types of coverage are as follows:
- Coverage A - Damage to your home
- Coverage B - Damage to other structures including garage, deck or swimming pool
- Coverage C - Loss or damage to the contents of your home
- Coverage D - Loss of use in case your home is not inhabitable
- Coverage E - Personal liability to third parties
- Coverage F - Medical payments to third parties
Q: Who pays for living expenses when my home is being repaired after a storm?
A: Your insurance company will pay for loss of use, in the case that your home is uninhabitable after it has been damaged by a storm, up to applicable limits.
Q: Does my policy cover tornado, wind and hail damage?
A: Most standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage done by tornado, windstorms and hailstorms. Check your policy for limits and details.
Q: What is not covered by homeowners insurance?
A: Earthquakes, floods and other named exclusions and usually require separate coverage. Normal wear and tear and poor maintenance is not covered by insurance.
Q: Will my insurance cover the cost of tree removal after a severe storm?
A: Most policies cover the cost of tree removal after a storm, however, you should check your policy. Some insurance companies require a separate tree removal policy.
Q: Will my homeowners insurance cover damage to cars on my property?
A: No. Damage to your car is not covered by your homeowners policy, even if a tree on your property falls and damages your car. Damage to your car is covered by your comprehensive auto insurance policy.
Q: If I file a storm damage claim, will my premiums go up?
A: Most states prohibit insurance companies canceling your coverage or singling you out for a rate increase due to an Act of God damage claim.
Q: Will my homeowners policy cover earthquake damage?
A: Not unless your policy specifically includes coverage for earthquakes. In most cases you'll need a separate insurance policy to cover earthquake and flood damage.
What are damaging winds?
Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.
Are damaging winds really a big deal?
Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.
Who is at risk from damaging winds?
Since most thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds as a result of outflow generated by the thunderstorm downdraft, anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard.
People living in mobile homes are especially at risk for injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph.
Types of Damaging Winds
Straight-line wind is a term used to define any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation, and is used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds.
A downdraft is a small-scale column of air that rapidly sinks toward the ground.
A downburst is a result of a strong downdraft. A downburst is a strong downdraft with horizontal dimensions larger than 4 km (2.5 mi) resulting in an outward burst of damaging winds on or near the ground. (Imagine the way water comes out of a faucet and hits the bottom of the sink.) Downburst winds may begin as a microburst and spread out over a wider area, sometimes producing damage similar to a strong tornado. Although usually associated with thunderstorms, downbursts can occur with showers too weak to produce thunder.
A microburst is a small concentrated downburst that produces an outward burst of damaging winds at the surface. Microbursts are generally small (less than 4km across) and short-lived, lasting only 5-10 minutes, with maximum windspeeds up to 168 mph. There are two kinds of microbursts: wet and dry. A wet microburst is accompanied by heavy precipitation at the surface. Dry microbursts, common in places like the high plains and the intermountain west, occur with little or no precipitation reaching the ground.
A gust front is the leading edge of rain-cooled air that clashes with warmer thunderstorm inflow. Gust fronts are characterized by a wind shift, temperature drop, and gusty winds out ahead of a thunderstorm. Sometimes the winds push up air above them, forming a shelf cloud or detached roll cloud.
A derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. A typical derecho consists of numerous microbursts, downbursts, and downburst clusters. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.