The sheer variety of home insurance policies can be overwhelming even for the most well informed consumer. While general home insurance policies cover a variety of potential disasters, additional home insurance coverage may be recommended, depending on where you live. Consider the following additions to a home insurance policy to ensure protection no matter what life has in store.
Protection against Hurricanes
Hurricane coverage varies between home insurance providers. Some companies include complete coverage for damages, others offer only partial coverage and some refuse to provide any coverage for hurricane damage at all. For this reason, homeowners must carefully examine their current policy. For instance, while repairs resulting from hurricanes are typically covered by insurance policies, expenses for alternate living arrangements are not. Additionally, because the insurance industry separates wind damage from flood damage, those living in areas commonly afflicted by hurricanes should consider flood insurance as well.
Protection against Floods
Basic home insurance policies do not cover damage resulting from floods. This is in contrast to what insurance companies consider water damage, which is damage resulting from broken water pipes, roof leaks, or overflow. In many cases, to be covered, flood damage must be the direct result of overflowing rivers or creeks, flash floods, or surface water. For individuals living in a flood plain, near a body of water, or with leaky basement walls, flood insurance is a necessity. Note that all flood policies require a 30-day waiting period before coverage is effective, so this coverage must be purchased before an incident of flooding occurs.
Protection against Fire
Fire coverage is included in almost all home insurance policies, but few homeowners clearly understand their policy. For example, most fire insurance plans are broken down into four coverage areas. In addition, different amounts of coverage are provided for the dwelling, the personal property destroyed, additional structures (such as a garage), and loss of use. Loss of use covers any expenses that occur while waiting for repairs to be completed.
Protection against Earthquakes
Unfortunately, generic home insurance policies do not cover earthquakes. As a result, even for those living outside of earthquake prone areas, earthquake insurance is highly recommended. Surprisingly, approximately nine out of every ten Americans live in areas officially deemed seismically active, which means that an earthquake could actually occur at any time. In fact, since 1900, earthquakes have been recorded in thirty-nine out of fifty states, yet few homeowners actually purchase this insurance. Depending on location, earthquake insurance is actually a relatively inexpensive addition to a home insurance policy. Generally, consumers with newer wood homes obtain the best rates due to the decreased likelihood of severe damage.
There is a wide variety of possible home insurance coverage available and for many homeowners it can be difficult to differentiate between them. However, by careful consideration and planning, every homeowner can be prepared to deal with the repercussions of any natural disaster without the added worry of insurance coverage.