Does home insurance cover natural disasters?

If you live near a river or in lowlands that are at a higher risk of flooding, flood insurance is highly recommended to protect your property. Maintaining your home, yard, and foundation can also help prevent water damage.7

Properties in the interior of the country are also threatened by flood damage. Consider if your location experiences heavy rainfall or other disasters such as hurricanes or freezing temperatures that could cause flooding.

Remember, there’s a 30-day waiting period before flood protection begins, so don’t wait until it’s too late to change your home insurance. Mudslides and other flood-related events may also be covered by a flood policy.

earthquakes and landslides

Earth movements, including earthquakes and landslides, are typically not covered by basic home insurance policies. Protections can be added with a policy for different conditions that includes protections against:

  • earthquake
  • landslides
  • mudslides
  • floods

Earthquake coverage is also provided through government programs like this California Earthquake Administration to care for residents in high-risk locations. If you live near a fault line or other high-risk area, contact your insurance provider to see what insurance options are available.

sinkholes

Sinkholes are another type of ground movement not covered by home insurance. These depressions in the ground can cause significant damage to land and homes.

They are fairly uncommon in the US, having a 1 in 100 chance of forming each year.8th Sinkholes are particularly common in parts of the southern United States

Sinkhole insurance must be taken out in addition to your basic insurance. Florida and Tennessee require insurers to offer sinkhole coverage.

tsunamis

Tsunamis are huge waves caused by earthquakes, causing great damage and flooding. The tsunami itself is not covered by home insurance. However, flood insurance covers damage caused by tsunami flooding.

Earthquake insurance does not protect you from tsunami damage, although areas with a high tsunami risk often also have a high earthquake risk. Areas like Hawaii that could experience a tsunami should consider both flood and earthquake coverage.

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