Natural Disaster Insurance: The Facts On Why You Need It
Who Needs Natural Disaster Insurance?
Natural disaster insurance provides coverage for losses sustained by natural disasters. It sometimes is sold as a separate policy to supplement an existing policy.
Natural disasters can hit anyone at anytime. It may be a tornado that rips through a city, a hurricane that blows in from the ocean or a torrential rain that causes intense flooding. Don't be fooled into thinking that you don't need insurance for disasters. You never know when you may need it.
Insurance that protects against a natural weather disaster has a lot of stipulations, it may be expensive, has large deductibles and sometimes is required in certain situations or areas. Some people choose not to take out disaster coverage thinking that it may not be worth the risk. They also think that the government will help them out or because it is not required and they don't want to spend the extra money.
Flood insurance is covered by the National Flood Insurance Program which is provided through the Federal government. Flood insurance is normally required when a residence is situated in a known flood zone. Flood prone areas may be in coastal regions or near rivers or other bodies of water
Personally I experienced a flooded home many times. I lived near a river in Ohio in which our mortgage company required flood insurance. We had flood claims several times with the National Flood Insurance Program. You need to be aware of what your specific disaster insurance for flood covers. One of the times our home flooded we made a claim and found out that the insurance did not cover any furniture or belongings in the lowest level of our home. We had a split level and our family room was in our lowest level and the National Flood Insurance Policy did not cover any of our furniture or the television that was downstairs. My message here is be aware of your policy limitations. Some insurance companies, but they're rare, will put riders on their policies to include flooded lower levels.
Storm Damage Insurance Coverage
Disaster insurance that covers damages from wind due to storms or tornados are normally covered by your regular homeowner's insurance. Sometimes in areas that are prone to tornados such as Oklahoma and Texas you need a supplemental policy. Homeowner's standard insurance policies also will cover hail damage, damaged roofs and frozen pipes from ice storms and fire due to lightening.
The best advice is to know your policy. Understand exactly what kind of coverage you have and what it protects you against in case you are struck by a weather disaster.
Earthquake insurance is usally povided by your insurance company. California is especially prone to earthquakes and their state government has the California Earthquake Authority which handles the policies. It is very common for people not to hold earthquake insurance because even though earthquakes are common, there is not often structural damage. Its a bit of gambling though because one day a strong earthquake is likely to happen and to not have earthquake insurance could be devastating to those individuals.
National Disaster Insurance: Hurricane Insurance
Hurricane insurance is disaster insurance that usually requres an additional policy. Areas that are high risk for hurricanes such as Florida, Mississipi, George, and South Carolina offer hurricane insurance through insurance companies. Sometimes regular homeowner's insurance covers damage from hurricanes but you have to pay special attention to your policy. The cost of buying hurricane insurance has been rising after billions of dollars of claims from recent hurricane disasters. Some companies are even beginning to refuse coverage to high risk areas because claims are so high.
Another thing you have to consider with hurrican insurance is that even though it may cover the wind damage it does not cover flood damage which is often a result from hurricanes. Once again you really have to know the inside and out of your hurricane policy.
Natural Disaster Insurance - Is It Worth The Risk?
Many people don't buy coverage to insure against natural disasters. If you decide that you do not want natural disaster insurance then you have to consider the alternative and realize that you may have to walk away away from your home and its contents if a disaster strikes. If that is not something you could do, then you probably should purchase insurance that covers you against disasters.
Advice for purchasing insurance to cover damages from natural disasters:
- Know every detail about your home policy and what it includes.
- Research online information about your risk.
- Get a few quotes on your policy to insure you have the best price.
- Remember that lower deductibles mean higher premiums.
- Replacement coverage costs more but you are insured for replacing your losses.
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