Natural Disaster Insurance

Your home is meant to provide shelter from the elements-keeping you cool when it’s hot, warm when it’s cold, and dry when it’s raining. Weather can still creep in and do serious damage to one of our most important assets.

Don’t assume your home insurance policy covers everything that Mother Nature can toss out. There are some conditional “only if” clauses, so talk to your broker to make sure your policy includes these if you want them covered:

What’s usually included:

  • Damage due to high winds from hurricane or a windstorm.
  • The cost of rebuilding a destroyed home due to a storm or hurricane.
  • Additional living expenses: If you have to live elsewhere for a while due to damage making your home uninhabitable and while repairs are being done, insurance policies will usually cover it. But amounts and terms of coverage vary, so check with your broker before assuming you can spend a month at a hotel.

What’s optional as an add-on:

  • Water damage due to a back-up sewer is not automatically covered by basic home protection plans. Your broker can help determine if this coverage makes sense for you.
  • Damage from a snowslide, landslide, or earthquake are usually “excluded perils” from policies, which you have to request.

What’s usually excluded (excluded perils):

  • Damage resulting from the condition of your home due to age or neglect-meaning it’s reasonable to expect you would have made an effort to repair or maintain it-would not be covered.
  • Flood-related damage is usually not covered unless you have broad water damage coverage, or the loss or damage is due to the backup or escape of water from a sewer, sump or septic tank.

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