Whether its wildfires, tornadoes, blizzards, hurricanes or floods – many people live in areas that are affected by natural disasters. The effects of natural disasters damaging or destroying homes, can threaten many people with homelessness and bankruptcy. Although it’s unpleasant to think about the possibility of losing your home due to natural disasters, it’s important to understand what your home insurance policy does or doesn’t cover.
Although home insurance usually covers a variety of situations that are “acts of God”, not all of these acts are usually covered. This is because the cost of rebuilding homes after natural disasters might be too large for insurance companies to cover with a monthly premium. That’s why most natural disasters are not covered by basic policies, especially not if you live in a high risk area. However, most insurance companies will offer supplemental coverage that you can purchase to protect yourself from natural disasters.
- Hurricanes and Tornadoes
Although most home insurance policies cover damages resulting from windstorms, they usually do not include protection from flooding which is often a byproduct of hurricanes. However, most insurance companies will offer flood insurance or other types of policies that can protect your home against hurricanes. If you live in a high risk area, it’s important that you check and understand the fine print on your policies, since it may include very narrow definitions of what wind and flood damage means.
Flooding is a tricky issue since not all flooding is created equal, so to speak. Most home insurance policies will exclude flooding from rivers, sinkholes or sea level rise, although some policies include protection from plumbing failures, such as leaking pipes. If you live in a high risk area, it’s quite smart to purchase flood protection, which is backed by the US government in flood-prone areas.
Earthquakes are almost never included in home insurance, but you are probably able to purchase supplemental coverage from your insurance provider. When buying earthquake protection, your insurance company will probably look at how your house was constructed, which materials were used and how stable the foundation is.
Depending on where you live, your home insurance may include protection from volcanic eruptions that relate to ash, lava, dust and removal of particles. Nevertheless, more serious implications of volcanic eruptions such as landslides or tremors are probably not included.