homeowners insurance and natural disasters: are they covered?

No one ever expects a tornado, flood, earthquake, or hurricane to destroy their home, but the sad fact is that it can happen. Read on to learn more about whether homeowners insurance will help cover damage caused by natural disasters.

A natural disaster is defined by the United Nations as "the consequences of events triggered by natural hazards that overwhelm local response capacity and seriously affect the social and economic development of a region." In other words, it's when Mother Nature wreaks havoc on a human-populated area.

In 2014 alone, insured losses due to natural disasters amounted to more than $15 billion. From damage to your home's structure to destroyed personal belongings, events like tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and more are serious financial concerns for many homeowners across the country.

That said, it's important to know which natural disasters your homeowners insurance policy may or may not cover. Having the proper coverage to financially protect your investments not only provides you with peace of mind — it also can really save the day if catastrophe strikes.

does homeowners insurance cover natural disasters?

Hazard insurance on a standard homeowners insurance policy covers many natural disasters, like tornadoes or hurricanes. Other natural disasters, including earthquakes and floods, aren't covered by most homeowners insurance companies. That's why you should always refer to your policy documents for information about coverages under your particular policy.

Below are some common examples of covered events.

Lightning

Whether lightning strikes a tree and causes it to fall over, damaging your roof, or a lightning bolt ignites your living room — the dwelling coverage on your Esurance homeowners policy might help pay to repair your place. And if your valued belongings are ever damaged by a covered peril like lightning, fire, or explosion, personal property insurance on your policy could help pay to replace them. How's that for peace of mind?

Fire

Wildfires, accidental blazes, and even fires caused by vandals may be covered by home insurance. On top of dwelling coverage and personal property coverage that helps to repair and replace your home and belongings, Esurance policies provide coverage for fire department charges, too.

Hurricanes and tornadoes

If a hurricane or tornado damages or even levels your house, home coverage can often kick in to help restore your place back to its old glory. In the meantime, you might need somewhere else to stay for a bit — which is why Esurance provides coverage for additional living expenses like a hotel, food, and even transportation while your house is being repaired after a covered incident.

Volcanic eruptions

Rare as they may be (fortunately), even volcanic eruptions could be covered by your homeowners insurance policy in certain circumstances. Should a fire or other covered hazard, for instance, result from an eruption and damage your home, your policy would likely step in to repair your house and replace your belongings. But if the damage to your home is strictly related to the earth movement itself, you'll likely be responsible for getting repairs done.

Stay protected against nature's many woes by getting a free homeowners quote today.

what natural perils aren’t covered by homeowners insurance?

In general, damage caused by floods or earth movement (like earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, and sinkholes) isn't typically covered by your homeowners insurance. There can also be exclusions when it comes to water damage and mold, fungus, vermin, as well as deterioration and wear-and-tear.

If you live in an area where flooding is a relatively common occurrence, it's always a good idea to get a flood insurance quote — and the same goes for earthquakes and earthquake insurance. These relatively unpredictable hazards require coverages and limits that a typical homeowners insurance policy simply won't offer, but that doesn't mean it's not super important to secure protection if you live in a high-risk locale.

If you're an Esurance policyholder and have questions about what perils you are and aren't covered for, feel free to give us a ring at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) — our licensed agents are here to help at these times.

Looking to buy a new policy from Esurance? Get a free personalized quote for homeowners insurance online.

How to flood-proof your house
Get expert advice from Esurance on how to help protect your home from flood damage.

Power outages and food spoilage: can homeowners insurance help?
After a major storm, an extended power outage could potentially ruin hundreds of dollars' worth of food in your fridge.

Get your free quote online

or call 1-866-439-5633