Super Storm Sandy and Property Insurance.

Super Storm Sandycould affect property owners in 3 different ways. One would be wind damage – either direct damage to a home or a damage as the result of falling trees or limbs. In New York State, wind is a covered “peril” of insurance, included on most insurance policies, subject to a deductible. Most deductibles are a set amount in dollars (like $1,000) but in some area’s by the Atlantic Ocean, this deductible could be a % of the dwelling insured value – like 3% for example.

Property damage from Storm Sandy
Damage from Storm Sandy

The second way a property could be affected is water/sewer back-up, where your home’s basement took on water that rose through your drain. So the damage to your furnace, hot water tank, finished basement would be covered by this important coverage. Many insurance companies do include this coverage in their policies but some it is an endorsement or optional coverage. So you would have had to purchase sewer/water back-up coverage to have a claim like this covered.

The 3rd type of damage a property owner could expect from Storm Sandy is flood. And flood is always excluded from all property insurance policies – whether it be a homeowner, landlord or commercial property owner. Flood insurance is run by a national program, National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is a separate insurance policy. My guess is only 1-3% of all property owners carry flood insurance and that is mostly in flood prone area’s (lik New Orleans) not New York City.

So I hope you have good property insurance coverage for your storm damage from Storm Sandy. It may also be a good time to review your insurance coverage, to make sure you have the correct policy in place. Always be safe, never sorry.

By Tom Larsen

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