Unsure if homeowner or renters insurance covers hurricane damage in Louisiana? You are not alone. After every major hurricane in Louisiana, homeowners and tenants alike scramble to pursue claims for damages from the storm. Whether or not those claims are likely to be granted will depend entirely on the type of coverage that is in place.
The terms of insurance policies are not uniform, meaning that one policy might cover some losses while another policy will not. These variances can lead to frustration, especially for renters or homeowners who believed they were covered. An attorney could help you review the terms of your policy and pursue benefits through a claim with your insurance company.
What does Homeowner Insurance Cover Following a Hurricane?
Homeowner policies represent the primary source of compensation for the owners of real property following a hurricane. These policies are designed to cover property damage stemming from a variety of sources. This includes many of the types of damages that are common during or after a hurricane.
Not every aspect of hurricane damage is covered by standard homeowner policies, however. While you could be entitled to compensation for your losses stemming from strong winds or hail, these policies will not cover flood damage.
The Importance of Flood Insurance
The lack of coverage for flood damage is a problem, as flooding is commonplace following these storms. In some cases, major flooding can happen days after a hurricane subsides.
The answer to this situation is for homeowners to carry flood insurance. Flood insurance is a different policy that is separate from the homeowner’s policy. This policy specifically covers flood damage, and it can fill many of the gaps left by homeowner policies.
Because it is an additional policy, flood coverage costs more than simply carrying homeowner coverage. For many people, this increase in premiums is a small price to pay once a hurricane hits.
Will a Homeowner Policy Cover a Tenant’s Property?
If you are a renter, your landlord likely has homeowner insurance on the property. The bad news is that cover is unlikely to extend to you or your belongings. These policies are designed to cover the structure that you live in, not its contents. While homeowner’s policies can include coverage for the things inside the home as well as the structure itself, it is rare for these policies to cover renters.
A tenant might not be able to rely on a homeowner’s policy to secure benefits for their lost property, but there are other coverage options that might be able to help. A renter policy could be the answer for tenants concerned about damaged property in a hurricane.
What does Renters Insurance Cover following a Hurricane?
Renters insurance is a form of insurance that protects the belongings of a tenant within a property they do not own. These policies are entirely for personal property within the unit as opposed to covering the building itself.
Like all insurance policies, renters insurance covers certain types of damages known as perils. These policies do not specifically cover hurricanes, but they do cover many of the perils that result from a storm. This includes wind, hail, or even fire damage. These policies could be a tenant’s best option for replacing their damaged property following a storm.
Potential Issues With Your Renter’s Insurance Claim
Renters often run into the same issues that property owners do following a hurricane. While most of the perils associated with hurricanes are covered by renters insurance, there is one important exception. Just like with a homeowner policy, renters insurance rarely covers damage caused by flooding. This can be problematic, as flood damage is a major cause of the damage in the aftermath of many Louisiana hurricanes.
The problem that some tenants face is that they do not have renters insurance at all. These policies are optional for renters, and many tenants opt not to obtain this coverage due to the cost of the monthly premiums. A tenant that does not have renters insurance will not be able to file a claim if their property is damaged in a hurricane. This could leave them personally responsible for all of their losses. One option is for tenants to pick up contents-only flood insurance while renting.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Insurance Claims
Navigating the insurance claims process in the aftermath of a hurricane can be difficult. Your attorney could advise you on how homeowner or renter’s insurance could cover hurricane damage while also assisting with your claim. We can look into your policies to determine which provider to make a claim with.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine is ready to guide you during this challenging time. Our team can walk you through the claims process step-by-step while answering any questions you might have about your rights. Call 1-800-747-3733 as soon as possible for your free consultation.
We Can Help.