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After a Flood or Natural Disaster

Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Natural Disasters?

There is no direct simple answer to that question. In general, homeowners insurance will not cover earthquake or flood damage unless you buy added coverage. Most companies will provide earthquake coverage for an additional premium, and flood insurance can be obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program. Hurricane damage is covered to the extent damage is caused by windstorm, falling trees or debris, lightning strikes or explosions. Rain penetrating a leaky roof will not be covered unless the leak is caused by the storm.

Your real estate agent can discuss specific typical natural disasters in the area when shopping for new homes. Is the area prone to flooding? What is the frequency of earthquakes? Do hurricanes, tornadoes or other windstorms strike this area regularly? These are a few of the questions you can ask.

Perils Covered

Most agents sell one of two forms of homeowners insurance. The broad form covers against fire, lightning, windstorms, riots, airplane or vehicle collisions, smoke damage, hail or explosions. If the home is damaged by one of these perils during a flood or earthquake, the ensuing damage is covered. For example: a tree blown over onto a roof causing a leak. The tree removal, roof patch and rain damage would all be covered.

A homeowners policy covers any damage to the home unless specifically excluded by the policy language. Although this form is referred to as "all risk", earth movement, flood, general disrepair and faulty workmanship are excluded.

Purpose of Insurance

Protect your assets from catastrophic loss. You can better afford a small premium than lose your home investment. After a flood or natural disaster, your home value may drop considerably. Homeowners insurance helps you rebuild that asset.

Ask a local Homes & Land Realty Expert any questions you may have about the home buying process or begin your new home search now by reviewing our complete list of real estate listings.

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