The great state of Iowa is frequently ranked as one of the least beautiful states in the country. And whose job is it to rank the states according to their natural beauty, you might ask? Writers – many of whom live in studio apartments surrounded by gray, graffiti-encrusted crime-ridden concrete jungles. They just aren’t qualified to recognize an endless sunset over a butterfly milkweed speckled prairie as the absolute pinnacle of all creation.
As gorgeous as it truly is, this state isn’t for the faint of heart. Iowans must regularly contend with hailstorms, derechos, ice storms, thunderstorms, floods and tornadoes – any of which can be powerful enough to damage or completely destroy a home, vehicle or farm plot. It takes more than just fortitude to deal with Iowa’s extreme weather. Living here also requires insurance!
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Extreme Weather?
The right insurance policy will keep your home equity fully intact in the event of an extreme weather event. However, knowing which types of weather damage are automatically covered by a homeowner’s policy – and which types require extra coverage – is essential to securing comprehensive protection.
- Hail – A homeowners insurance policy’s dwelling coverage (aka Coverage A) typically helps cover the costs of repairing and replacing whichever parts of a home hail can damage. Permanently attached structures, including decks, are also covered. Dwelling coverage usually only covers a roof’s actual cash value, which pays the cost of replacement minus depreciation. Alternatively, you may select a policy which would pay for a hail-damaged roof’s replacement cost value.
- Wind – Iowa is no stranger to derechos: long, powerful and widespread windstorms that can decimate a home’s roofing and siding. Wind is not an uncommon threat to American houses, which is why homeowners insurance normally covers the costs of repair and replacement resulting from a bad windstorm. While no region of our country is equally threatened by tornadoes, derechos, hurricanes and nor’easters, the wind damage caused by those violent natural phenomena all fall under a homeowners policy’s wind protection.
- Ice & Snow – Homeowners insurance can cover repairs that are needed when freezing temperatures cause burst pipes or heavy ice and snow cause a roof to collapse. Importantly, ice damage usually isn’t covered when it could have been prevented by reasonable maintenance. A standard homeowners policy also usually excludes fences, patios, retaining walls, and other unattached features when they are damaged by ice, snow or thawing.
- Flood – A standard homeowners policy does not provide protection for flood damage. This is not to say that flood coverage does not exist. Separate flood insurance policies are available from insurance providers. If your home is located in an area that is at heightened risk of flooding, you may also choose to purchase protection through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program. Take care to protect yourself beforehand, as a single inch of floodwater can inflict up to $25,000 worth of damage to a home!
- Lightning – Lightning strikes and the fires they can cause are both covered perils in virtually all homeowners policies. Homeowners insurance also normally includes personal property coverage to pay the replacement costs of your personal belongings, loss of use coverage that pays for additional living expenses while you’re unable to use your home, and personal liability coverage that protects you in the event of a fire spreading to your neighbor’s house. (Note that standard personal liability coverage is seldom sufficient to cover the entire cost of a neighboring house.)
Does Car Insurance Cover Extreme Weather?
Basic automobile insurance may not cover the costs of repair and replacement associated with weather damage. Optional comprehensive coverage is typically required for protection against fires, flooding and hailstorms. Likewise, comprehensive coverage also takes effect when wind damages a car by knocking a tree or branch onto it.
Does Farm Insurance Cover Extreme Weather?
Crop insurance provides indispensable peace of mind when a single bout of extreme weather could destroy your entire year’s profits. In addition to blight and insect swarms, multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI) covers natural disasters such as wind, fire and flooding. Although MPCI does cover hail, many farmers also opt for additional crop-hail insurance because it offers greater protection against profit loss.
If you own a home, vehicle or farm in beautiful (yet oftentimes stormy) Iowa, then you cannot fully protect your valuable property without insurance. Protect what matters most. Contact The Hoffman Agency today and ask one of our agents to tailor an insurance policy that will keep you fully covered against all types of extreme weather!