A new study shows why home owners need to be more concerned about wind damage.
According to data released by the insurance company Travelers, wind damage nudged ahead of hail, water, theft, fire, and others to be the top homeowner’s insurance claim. But it’s the one thing that home owners are least likely to protect their homes against, says Scott Humphrey, the second vice president of risk control at Travelers.
Protecting the Home
Wind can cause tree branches to detach and hit the home, lift up roof shingles, or damage windows and doors, Humphrey says.
To protect a home during a strong storm with high winds, home owners should ensure dangling branches are removed, secure windows with plywood, and secure a garage with vertical braces, says Crissinda Ponder, a real estate analyst for Bankrate.com. Also, home owners should be proactive in repairing or replacing any loose or damaged shingles and have door bolts to keep doors in place, she adds.
Wind damage is covered by most standard home insurance policies. However, home owners in coastal and hurricane-prone areas may find wind damage excluded from their policies and may need to purchase a separate windstorm policy.
The study revealed the following five most common causes of homeowner’s insurance claims:
- Exterior wind damage: 25% (percentage of claims)
- Non-weather related water damage (i.e. plumbing and appliance issues): 19%
- Hail: 15%
- Weather-related water damage: 11%
- Theft: 6%