Last week I wrote about the two types of hurricane related claims, wind and storm surge, which is related to flooding (see https://wiseinsurancegroup.com/two-types-insurance-claims-hurricane-harvey/). A conversation I had with a client reminded me of a third type of home insurance claim, wind driven rain, which can cause significant damage to the interior of your home.
Wind driven rain damage came up in a conversation with a client as we discussed their flood claim. They were staying with friends in their home when it eventually flooded. She mentioned the sheetrock in the ceiling of a couple of rooms was sagging and falling allowing wet insulation to drop into the home. This damage was not caused by the floodwaters entering the home but by wind driven rain.
Wind driven rain occurs when the wind is fast enough to drive the rain sideways. It has enough force behind it to push the rain through small cracks in brick, siding, around windows, doors, and even under shingles. If it lasts long enough, hurricane winds can force literally gallons of water into the home through these small cracks resulting in damage to sheetrock, insulation, cabinetry, flooring, etc.
What’s important about the difference between a flood claim and a wind driven rain claim is the policy which covers it. No home insurance policy covers a flood claim, that requires a flood policy. However, many home insurance policies do cover damage from wind driven rain. This means damage from wind driven rain can be claimed on the home insurance policy, provided it covers it.
I advised my client to encourage their friends to take pictures of the damaged sheetrock and insulation and feel the sheetrock on all exterior walls for dampness. I also suggested they go into the attic and examine all the insulation to determine how much was wet and may need to be replaced. Wet insulation should be removed and rafters and beams allowed to dry before adding new insulation so as not to cause to mold growth within the home. Drying wood beams and rafters may take two to four weeks or longer depending on humidity levels, airflow, and more.
The best way to determine if your home insurance policy provides coverage for wind driven rain is to ask your agent. If you have a question, comment, or experience to share, then please share them with me on my Facebook, Google +, or LinkedIn page. I’d love to hear from you!