WIND DRIVEN WATER DAMAGE—-IS IT COVERED?

This evening I will be taking the mystery out of one of the biggest issues you will be facing when it comes to water damage. Wind driven rain is probably the single biggest contributor to damage in a hurricane other than the storm surge itself. This topic is one of most hotly contested issues of all time when it comes to insurance coverage and I can assure you that once I am finished you will be equipped to take on this issue. It should be obvious that if you have a gaping hole in your roof or walls after a hurricane you can expect to be covered for interior water damage. However, what if you have water damage to the interior, but you can find no permanent holes in your structure? This is where is where it gets interesting. Most policies require an opening to be created in the structure for wind driven rain to be covered, however most policies don’t specify that the hole in the structure has to be permanent. Let that sink in for a moment. During a hurricane, incredible wind pressures are exerted upon a structure that create “openings” that would not normally exist outside of the hurricane event. What I mean by this is items such as windows, doors and other locations can be distorted by pressures that exceed the design ratings of these items thereby causing them to distort in shape and create temporary openings. Whats the bottom line— openings in the structure are not always permanent and not always gaping holes. Sometimes they are temporary and unless your policy specifies that the openings must be permanent, you should be entitled to coverage for damage caused by the temporary openings just like you are covered for the permanent openings. If you are insured with TWIA and have a “320” endorsement, it does not matter whether the openings are temporary or permanent- you are covered! The moral of the story is to always ask your agent for wind driven rain coverage. In many cases, this coverage is worth more than the wind coverage itself.