A growing number of homeowners are complaining their insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by severe weather, the Minnesota Department of Commerce reports.
According to a release from MDC, the department has seen a 20% increase in complaints regarding homeowners’ insurance since 2020. Many of the complaints reference coverage denials or unexpectedly high out-of-pocket costs after the home was damaged by wind or hail.
Some insurance companies have adopted policy language that eliminates coverage for wind and hail damage except in cases where the home’s water barrier is compromised, MDC says.
State law does not address policy exclusions for cosmetic damage, including damage caused by wind or hail.
“We want to make sure Minnesota homeowners are aware of possible changes to their homeowners’ insurance coverage and not be surprised after they submit a claim,” Minnesota Commerce Deputy Commissioner of Insurance Julia Dreier said in a statement.
“In the past, homeowners’ insurance may have covered all of a policyholder’s costs to replace a roof or siding for even modest hail or wind damage, but that may have changed.”
And other insurers have added higher deductibles for wind and hail damage. While these policies may lower premiums, MDC encouraged homeowners to evaluate if the savings would outweigh the cost of potential damage.
“We advise homeowners to consider the math,” Dreier said.
MDC says insurance problems stemming from wind and hail damage will continue to be an issue for homeowners, citing data from the National Weather Service.
In May, Minnesota led the nation in severe weather with 568 events.