As a long-time resident of Southern California, I admit we don't get a whole lot of rain.  Guess we're getting payback.  Driving from the LawInfo's offices last night back to La Jolla, I saw more traffic accidents than I've seen combined in the years I've lived here.  Crazy!  Torrey Pine trees had fallen on cars, cars had flipped over and crashed into driveways, and of course cars and trucks had collided with each other.   With damage abound.... many of us are probably wondering whether any of those damages are covered by insurance.

As published on  the Federal Citizen Information Center website, the most common homeowner's insurance policy (the "HO-3") provides "broad coverage" for losses due to lightning, tornados, wind storms, hail, trees falling on your house, and other "perils" from natural disasters. For more details, read the publication "Am I Covered? Common Questions Asked By Homeowners about Insurance." Thankfully, a lot of damages ARE covered by the typical homeowner's insurance policy (though you should check your particular policy for details).  While many claims are processed without complication, sometimes disputes arise over coverage.  For instance, if a policy covers wind-related damages, but not water-related  or flood damages....  then a dispute may arise regarding whether damage from a rainy/windy storm was actually "wind" or "water" related.  As such, it is usually wise to speak with an attorney not only if your claim is rejected, but even prior to initially submitting your claim.   It can be vital to use the most accurate language possible (in the contractual, legal sense) when submitting a claim.

If your home is damaged to the point that you can no longer live in it.... remember you are still obligated to pay your mortgage. However, for very severe disasters, the federal government may provide FEMA related funds to assist individuals and families with temporary housing, low-interest loans and grants, and other assistance. Most federal FEMA assistance becomes available when the President of the United States declares a “Major Disaster” for the affected area at the request of a state governor.