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Insurance Experts Answer Storm Damage Questions
Published  12/20/2010 | 2010

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LOS ANGELES – With a record-setting series of storms poised to continue pummeling California through Christmas, the Insurance Information Network of California offers the following advice:

Question: My home was damaged in the storm, but I’m not sure that it’s covered by my homeowner insurance. What should I do?
Answer: Contact your insurance agent or insurance company’s claim department. By filing a claim, you will initiate a process that will evaluate whether you have insurance to cover your loss.

Question:  The storm caused a tree to fall on my home.  Does my homeowner insurance policy cover the damage?
Answer:  Yes.  The damage to your home would be covered and most policies will also cover up to $500 for tree removal.  However, if the tree fell into your yard and did not cause damage to your home, the tree removal would be your own responsibility.

Question:  Rising water flooded my home.  Am I covered?
Answer:  Yes, if you have flood insurance. However, a standard homeowner insurance policy does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is typically available from your agent through the National Flood Insurance Program ( or (800) 427-9662).  Keep in mind that it takes 30 days from the time you purchase the policy for it to take effect.  The standard homeowner policy covers damage from water that falls from the sky (rain, sleet, snow and hail), but a flood policy covers damage from rising water.

Question:  A hill collapsed and slid into my home.  Does my homeowner insurance policy cover this damage?
Answer:  No.  Landslides and mudslides are not covered by either homeowner or flood insurance policies.

Question:  Winds blew shingles off my roof, causing a leak that allowed rain to soak my living room.  Would I be covered for this damage?
Answer:  Typically, yes.  Homeowner insurance covers losses resulting from wind damage, such as rain entering the home from a wind-damaged roof.  It does not cover damage from an aging or poorly maintained roof, however. 
IINC is a non-profit and non-lobbying trade association dedicated to helping the public understand insurance and manage risk. For more information, please visit IINC is also on Twitter at and on Facebook at IINC staff is also available for interviews via Skype at IINC-LA and IINC-SF.