April showers undoubtedly bring May flowers. But unfortunately those showers also bring a barrage of severe weather threats to your home. According to the National Weather Service, thunderstorms cause more than $1 billion in property damage each year. From lightning to hail, you want to make sure you are familiar with you homeowners insurance policy and the coverage it provides.
Smart homeowners prepare for severe weather before it hits, and part of that preparation should be checking your home insurance coverage. Review your policy and familiarize yourself with the coverage limits. Keep in mind standard home insurance policies provide coverage for most severe weather-related losses, including wind, hail, and lightning damage.
Standard home insurance policies, however, do not provide flood coverage, which could be a problem when those April showers start. Homeowners who need flood coverage should purchase a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Shelter from the storms
Aside from home insurance, here are some helpful tips to prevent spring storms from damaging your home:
- During a storm, high winds can take a loose branch and send it sailing through a window. That’s why it’s a good idea to trim your trees and remove dead or loose branches ahead of time.
- Make sure your gutters and drains are free of debris. Having them clear will help prevent costly water damage.
- Check the weatherstripping on your doors and windows. If it shows signs of wear, it may need to be replaced. Not only does weatherstripping help prevent water damage, it also helps reduce your heating and cooling costs.
- If you know a storm is coming, be sure to move patio furniture, trash cans and other loose items outside – they could become projectiles.
- Inspect your roof for loose shingles and have a professional come fix them. Finding loose shingles before a storm can stop a giant leak before it starts.
- Check our Disaster Guide for tips on dealing with tornadoes, lightning and other natural disasters.
Unfortunately, sometimes even the most extensive preparation doesn’t prevent your home from being damaged by a storm. That’s why you have a home insurance policy. After the storm passes make sure to assess your property for damage and report what you find to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Take photos to document the damage, and get the claims process started.