Superstorm spotlights home insurance If the home is insured for $300,000 with a 5 percent hurricane deductible, the homeowner must pay the first $15,000 in damages resulting from high winds or a named hurricane, depending on the trigger named in the policy. Sandy was no longer a named hurricane when it reached shore, which will spare many East Coast homeowners the steeper deductible, although they will still owe the regular deductible for damage caused by wind. Homeowners insurance does not cover flooding and storm surges, and those who failed to buy flood insurance will have to foot their own repair bills. What's in, out A standard homeowner insurance policy provides liability coverage up to a certain amount if someone is injured on your property or you or a member of your household hurts someone (on or off your property) and you are held legally liable. "If a mudflow is mostly water, it is covered by flood insurance," says Tully Lehman, spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California, an industry group. Years ago, some companies sold guaranteed replacement cost coverage that paid whatever it took to replace the home, even if it exceeded the dwelling limit. After the Oakland fires, such policies became rare, says David Shaffer, an independent insurance agent in Walnut Creek. Most companies use computer models to guesstimate rebuilding costs, and since premiums are based on policy limits, in order to be competitive, they tend to underestimate the replacement value of homes. If you have an expensive home, your insurance company might send someone out for a site visit, or you could pay a home inspection service several hundred dollars for a rebuilding-cost estimate. Some vandals knocked a hole in a pool that caused flooding and the insurance company refused to pay because of a concurrent causation clause. [...] it does not cover most other types of damage that follow a quake, such as flooding from a broken water heater or water main, landslides or mudslides.