By policy definition, a named storm is defined as any Storm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Atmospheric Disturbance, Depression, Hurricane, Tropical Storm, or other Weather Phenomena designated by the US National Hurricane Center and to which a name has been applied.
Tropical storms and hurricanes can cause severe damage to properties in coastal locations. It is estimated that Hurricane Katrina, the Category 5 hurricane that made landfall in Louisiana in 2005, caused between $75 billion and $100 billion in property damage. You may be lucky and have little damage from a named storm, or you could suffer a total loss of your investment.
What type of damage does Named Storm cover?
As soon as a storm is given a name by the National Weather Service, standard Wind/Hail coverage no longer applies. For damage caused by a named tropical storm or hurricane to be covered, your property policy must include Named Storm coverage.
So, what is covered by Named Storm? Damage caused by the wind and rain from a Named Storm event.
For example, if the event is determined to have created a “storm-created opening,” allowing rainwater to enter the home and causing damage within the property, the damage from rainwater may be considered a covered cause of loss. A “storm-caused opening” may be roofing shingles lifted by heavy winds or hail breaking a window and allowing rain to enter the home.
However, if water enters the property due to a “storm surge,” an abnormal rise of water level due to the presence of a storm, this would be considered Flood and therefore not covered by Named Storm. Additionally, water that leaks or seeps into the home because of a deteriorated roof or windows damaged by something other than a named storm is not covered.
Examples of potential losses
Hurricane or tropical storm damage can be caused by the force of the winds, rain driven by those winds, storm surge, and flooding. Below are common losses related to named storms and if they are insured.
Ex 1: During a named storm, strong winds blew shingles off the roof – leaving it exposed to the elements and causing rainwater to leak into the home.
- The cost to repair the roof is insured. Water damage as a result of the storm-created opening is also insured.
Ex 2: During a named storm, strong winds picked up a fallen tree branch and hurled it through a window at your property. The window was shattered and, as a result, rainwater leaked into the home during a separate storm the next day.
- The cost to repair the window is insured, subject to your property deductible. The water damage is not insured because that precipitation was part of a separate weather event following the named storm.
Ex 3: Patio furniture was swept away by rising water during a storm surge.
- The cost to replace the patio furniture is not insured because the rising water was part of a storm surge following the named storm.
Ex 4: Shingles on the roof of your property were worn down from years of exposure to the elements, causing a slow leak from the roof into the attic. Heavy rain from a named storm caused water to seep through at an even higher rate. After the storm passes, you notice water damage, structural damage, and mold in the attic.
- The water damage, structural damage, and mold are not insured because the roof was compromised before the named storm hit the property.
If you have properties in a coastal location, it is extremely important to know what type of coverage you have regarding Named Storm. If you have any questions, you may refer to your policy documents or contact your Client Service Advisor.