Standard homeowners’ insurance covers a wide range of damages to a home, but many homeowners assume they are covered from all types of damage to their property and possessions, which is a big mistake. In the case of natural disasters, it is important for homeowners to consider buying separate flood and earthquake insurance policies. Do you live in a high-risk area? Could you afford to cover the costs to repair, replace, or rebuild their home without the proper coverage?
Flood insurance policies are available to any homeowner, and many people purchase a policy whether they live in a high-risk area for floods or not. Homeowners’ insurance covers water related damage, but when it comes to flooding damage, the homeowner is responsible for paying for any damage or having specific flood insurance in place. Flooding damage includes anything from inadequate drainage, melting snow, hurricanes or flash floods. A homeowner can‘t purchase flood insurance on their own, they will need to contact a local independent homeowners’ insurance agent who participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.
Flood insurance provides flood protection to the home and its contents. With the right flood insurance policy, homeowner’s will ensure that their home is protected in the case of a flood. When purchasing flood insurance, it is important to remember that it takes 30 days for the flood insurance policy to be effective. Flood insurance also covers some degree of protection to basement related damage that causes flooding, but it will not cover all water related damage.
Earthquakes are infrequent in most parts of the United States, but most homeowners’ insurance policies offer little to no coverage for earthquake related damage. Most normal homeowners’ insurance polices will cover damage resulting from an earthquake like a fire, explosion, glass breaking or theft, but they will not cover the cost of any damage linked solely to the earth movement.
Homeowners who buy earthquake coverage generally live in an area with a high frequency of earthquakes, if their home was not constructed to withstand an earthquake of moderate strength or if they would be unable to cover the cost of any potential earthquake damage. Earthquake insurance will cover the damage to the home and its contents. Most polices also cover costs to improve a home, minimizing further damage after an earthquake. Most people who purchase earthquake coverage buy enough to cover the costs of rebuilding their home and replacing all of its contents. This means that the home is insured to the rebuilding costs of the home, not the market value.
In the case of flooding and earthquakes, it is important for homeowners to plan ahead. In the case of major damage due to a natural disaster the Federal Emergency Management Agency may step in and offer residents grants or loans to help residents in an effected area, but this can’t be counted on. Homeowners should contact their local independent homeowners’ insurance agents to discuss their potential risks for these sorts of damages and decide what coverage they need to best protect their home.
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