This should be done before natural disasters strike.
If your home was damaged by mother nature, you need to know what is covered in homeowner's policy. And you should know that before a natural disaster strikes. "You need to look at your policy because sometimes there's certain deductibles that apply. So you need to know what those deductibles are," says Joy Hatchette, Associate Commissioner for Consumer Education and Advocacy, the Maryland Insurance Commission.
Most homeowners policies will cover damage to a house as a result of a natural disaster, including damages to the siding because of hail or wind. "There has to be actual damage to a particular property. So let's say that the hail damages one side of your home. Under most policies, they're only going to be required to replace that side of your home," she says.
But it can get tricky if the new siding the insurance company is paying for doesn't match what's already there. "Now some policies say that if the siding doesn't match, then the insurance company may give you either additional money for that, or they may re-side your entire home. But that's, once again, is going to depend on the specific policy provisions," she says.
Hatchette says it's important to read your policy, and if you have questions, contact your insurance company.
The Maryland Insurance Commission says some policies may include exclusions for mismatches that occur when the damaged material is replaced with new material. If the policy does not contain exclusions for mismatches, and it provides for replacement cost coverage, the insurer may pay for the additional amounts when settling the claim.
If there is no exclusion for mismatches, consumers may want to contact their insurance companies about purchasing an endorsement to provide for such coverage.
For more information, you can call the Maryland Insurance Commission at 1-800-492-6116.