We buy insurance coverage so it will be there for us when disaster strikes. After a fire, gas pipeline explosion, flood, earthquake, landslide, windstorm or other natural disaster, property owners need prompt payment on their insurance claims so they can repair or replace damaged property and begin to move forward with their lives.
Unfortunately, after many natural disasters, some policyholders receive insurance claim denials instead of the help they need. Other claim payments will be delayed for months or years, or even underpaid by the insurance companies.
Few people in Texas carry flood insurance , and few in California carry earthquake coverage, because of the high cost of these types of policies. Yet some property damage may be covered under your homeowners policy or commercial general liability insurance policies.
Ten years ago, New Orleans and much of Louisiana was devastated by one of the worst natural disasters in recent American history. The response to Hurricane Katrina was, to put it mildly, flawed. A decade later, stronger, more coordinated responses are still needed to make sure that natural disasters don’t turn into catastrophes. That’s especially true in the face of continued global warming, which will result in stronger, more frequent storms, wildfires, droughts, and other disasters.
An important consideration when buying a home or reviewing your homeowners’ insurance policy is whether your insurance covers natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes. While standard homeowners’ insurance policies may cover a wide variety of situations likely to be very expensive to fix out-of-pocket, such as items lost to theft or fire damage, not all so-called “acts of God” are covered.
Generally, natural disasters are not covered by a basic home insurance policy if you live in a high risk area, such as a flood plain or along an active fault. Typically, homeowners may purchase supplemental policies that cover a specific type of natural disaster. But if you live in a high-risk area for wildfires, for instance, you may have to pay more for your general policy to cover the increased risk.
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