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What is 'wind-driven rain' and why doesn't my policy cover it?

Walking around your house after a severe storm can be enormously upsetting. Not only could you be looking at extensive damage but it can be very difficult to see your belongings and home in disarray. In this situation, you may find some peace of mind that you are well insured and have premium policies that you expect will help you rebuild your home and your life.

Unfortunately, you could be in for some bad news if an insurance adjuster tells you that damage after a storm is not covered because of wind-driven rain.

Wind and rain cause damage to your house in a storm, which is not uncommon in Florida. However, your insurance policy may not cover the damage if it is determined that your home essentially led to the damage caused by the storm.

For example, one couple in another state learned that water damage in their home after a storm was not covered by their premium insurance policy. According to their adjuster, the damage inside their home was indeed the result of rain from the storm. However, the rain was driven into the home because their roof had tiles that needed repair, not because of the storm. 

If the roof had been intact and the home was damaged after high winds caused a tree branch to fall on the roof, then the resulting damage very well could be covered. The distinction is that it was the storm that caused the tree to go through the house.

It is these distinctions that insurance companies often rely on to deny a claim. Unfortunately, sometimes these decisions are protected and clearly defined in an insurance policy. Other times, however, a claim is wrongfully denied when companies claim damage is not covered in a policy or that it was caused by something else.

If you are in a situation where you are battling with your insurance company over your policy or damages, it can be wise to discuss your circumstances with an attorney. Having legal support can help you stand up to insurance companies and protect yourself.

Source: NBCDFW.com, "Couple Battles Insurance Company Over Spring Storm Damage," Deanna Dewberry, Sept. 4, 2015

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