Insurance Answers to Calif.’s Storm Damage Questions

February 23, 2005

With the latest storms causing widespread damage, the Insurance Information Network of California released a statement offering the following advice:

Question: The storm caused a tree to fall on my home. Does my homeowner insurance policy cover the damage?

Answer: Yes. The damage to your home would be covered and most policies will also cover up to $500 for tree removal. However, if the tree fell into your yard and did not cause damage to your home, the tree removal would be your own responsibility.

Question: My pool overflowed in the rain and flooded my home. Am I covered?

Answer: Yes. It would be covered if you have flood insurance, however, a standard homeowner insurance policy does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is available from your agent through the National Flood Insurance Program ( or (800) 427-9662). Keep in mind that it takes 30 days from the time you purchase the policy for it to take effect. The standard homeowner policy covers damage from water that falls from the sky (rain, sleet, snow and hail), but a flood policy covers damage from water that rises from the ground.

Question: A hill collapsed and slid into my home. Does my homeowner insurance policy cover this damage?

Answer: No. Landslides and mudslides are not covered by either homeowner or flood insurance policies.

Question: Winds blew shingles off my roof, causing a leak that allowed rain to soak my living room. Would I be covered for this damage?

Answer: Typically, yes. Homeowner insurance covers losses resulting from wind damage, such as rain entering the home from a wind-damaged roof. It does not cover damage from an aging or poorly maintained roof, however.

Question: My car was caught in a flash flood. Will my auto insurance cover the repairs?

Answer: Yes. The comprehensive portion of the auto insurance policy would cover any damage to your car not caused by an auto accident. If you are involved in a rain-related accident, that damage would be covered by the collision portion of your policy.

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