"Wind-driven rain" is a term you probably never considered until you purchased home insurance. In fact, many individuals have never even heard of the term "wind-driven rain" until they learn their home insurance policy doesn't cover it. By then, it might be too late.
Today, our public insurance claims adjuster in Central Florida explains everything you should know about wind-driven rain – including whether or not your policy should cover it.
Wind-driven rain is self-explanatory: rain that is driven into your house by the wind. In the insurance world, wind-driven rain is rain that comes through an opening because the wind propels it. So if the wind were out of the equation, water would never make it into your house in the first place.
When a storm harms your house, wind and rain typically cause most of the damage. Therefore, if the wind and rain induce damage, this is generally covered on your home insurance policy. However, the "wind-driven rain" stipulation may be utilized if your insurance agent discovers that your residence essentially led to the deterioration caused by the storm. In this circumstance, your insurance company may not protect the damages even if you carry flood insurance.
For illustration, one couple in Houston discovered that water damage in their house after a storm was not protected by their insurance policy – even though they were paying for a premium house insurance plan. The adjuster argued that damage inside the house was caused by precipitation from the storm. Generally, damages like that are covered by your insurance policy. However, the insurer determined that the rain was driven into the house because the tiles on the roof required repair. In other words, it wasn't the storm that harmed the home. Instead, it was a poorly-maintained roof.
This is where things get kind of tricky: your home insurance policy would protect against damage if the heightened winds from a storm had crashed a tree onto your roof and then moisture leaked through the ceiling into your house. However, if rain is driven into your house through the roof because the tiles need to be restored before the storm, your insurance may not cover it. Small distinctions like this can cause insurance agencies to deny your claim. If you are having problems with an insurance claim, a certified public adjuster can help.
When many individuals spot water damage in their homes after a storm, they think their flood insurance will protect the damage. That's not accurate with wind-driven rain, sadly.
As the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) clarifies, when rainfall enters via a wind-damaged window or door or comes in via a hole in a wall or roof, the NFIP assumes the resulting puddles and damage to be windstorm-related instead of flood-related. Flood insurance protects against overflow of inland or tidal waters and uncommon and rapid upsurge or runoff of surface waters from any origin. However, the flood must be a broad and temporary state of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of an innately dry land area.
We hope this helps you better understand wind-driven rain and your insurance coverage. Contact us today if you need support from a public insurance claims adjuster in Central Florida.