Wednesday, October 11 2023
One of the biggest sources of confusion for customers after Hurricane Ian was the difference between “wind-created openings” and “wind-driven rain.” This is an important distinction that often determines whether the damage is covered or not.
In general, if water enters through an area of the home in which the exterior materials are ripped, torn, broken or smashed as a result of the storm, allowing rain to enter the dwelling, the damage caused by that wind-created opening would generally be covered under the policy unless an exclusion applies.
However, if water seeps into a home during a storm through a window pane, flashing point, material transition, around sealants, through seams and natural openings like a door jamb, and the exterior materials were not ripped, torn, broken or smashed creating an opening, that would be considered wind-driven rain. That damage is typically not covered by a base policy (though American Integrity offers an endorsement that covers this damage).
Fast fact: many windows are designed with weep holes and other design elements to allow water to escape the tracts when heavy rain is pelting them. The windows will allow water through in some instances, but does not mean they are damaged. It is a safety and design feature, so customers should consider adding an endorsement to their policy to ensure this coverage.