While the idea of natural disasters isn’t one we want anyone to spend much time thinking about, the reality is that it is still a possibility that we all have to face. Like everything, it’s always best to be prepared, which is why we are going to be talking about disaster and catastrophe insurance today!
As we have officially hit the one-year marker of living with Covid-19, the realities of dealing with natural disasters have become all too clear. It’s very obvious now that we never really know what might happen and it is best to be prepared for anything and everything. Living in the Lowcountry, we aren’t strangers to the fact that hurricanes, tropical storms, and their dangerous aftermath can bring disaster right to our front doors. With that in mind and after this past year, considering natural disaster and catastrophe insurance might be needed in your life sooner than you might think. It might not be on your radar now, but it might need to be. While we don’t want you to sit and think about the possibilities of a natural disaster constantly, having natural disaster insurance allows you to ease that burden. It’s our job to think about it, help guide you through it, and be here for you if a disaster ever does strike. We hope it never does, but just in case, we wanted to share some of the ins and outs of it all!
- One of the many questions we hear is if homeowners insurance covers natural disasters. While your homeowner’s insurance will cover quite a bit when it comes to disasters like fires and severe weather, it does not cover floods or earthquakes. If you live in an area where these elements are common, it is wise to get separate policies to cover them. All of us here in Charleston are also no strangers to how powerful the wind can be. It is recommended that if you live in coastal areas such as the Lowcountry, that you look into or even include a policy for wind and wind damage. This policy can also be called hurricane coverage. It is also important to know and understand what your insurance policy covers in case of disasters heading your way. Many plans will extend their coverage to tornado damage, blizzards, and wildfires, but some very common and disaster events are still not covered.
- It is also important to know and understand that natural disaster policies are a combination of buying separate policies and adding them onto your current policy to protect you, your family, and your home. This can also be referred to as catastrophe insurance, which offers protection for earthquakes, flood, hurricanes, and human-made disasters like riots and terrorist attacks.
- For flooding insurance, you’ll need to buy a specific plan through the NFIP, the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP is a federally run program that works with private insurance companies to give you federally sponsored insurance. It can take up to 30 days for the insurance to go into effect, so if you are in an area that is prone to flooding and flooding season due to hurricanes or other natural elements, the best time to get coverage is right now!
- There is also a type of insurance called hazard insurance that frequently overlaps catastrophe insurance. This plan covers what many refer to as “acts of God” such as volcano eruptions, meteorites falling for the sky, lighting, and more. Catastrophe insurance covers these things and other elements like those created by men like riots and terrorist attack damage.
- For all of our new clients, readers, and first-time catastrophe insurance buyers, it’s very important not to confuse it with Catastrophic Insurance. This is a type of health insurance that is solely dedicated to paying for medical emergencies, illness, and accidents!
- A rule of thumb that you will often hear is that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover any incidents caused by the movement of the earth. This is why earthquakes aren’t covered and it also includes sinkholes, mudslides, and landslides not being included in your homeowner’s insurance.
- Hail and tornado damage is usually included in most homeowner’s insurance policies but only to a point, not every policy is created equal. For states that are very vulnerable to these events, your policies might charge a little more for this specific protection. It is also very important to make sure that if you live in a very tornado-heavy area to check your policy to make sure your policy will give you enough to completely cover your expenses if you need to rebuild your home. When it comes to disasters, reading the fine print and knowing the details are very important. If your policy only covers the cash value of your home, you might want to upgrade your policy replacement cost coverage. This coverage helps you rebuild exactly what you had before the disaster.
- Hurricane coverage can be a little tricky, especially for us here in the Lowcountry! Homeowner’s insurance will cover some wind damage, some rainwater damage, and other elements like that, but it won’t cover damage caused by flooding that happens as a result of storm surges. This is why flood insurance is so necessary for areas that are prone to hurricanes.
- It’s also very important to know that damage done to your vehicles by a natural disaster is not covered by homeowners insurance, your car insurance would be responsible for these things.
- To fully recover from a natural disaster and to be fully compensated for all that you will need to rebuild and repair, you should look into extended replacement value coverage. This coverage helps with any surprise costs that appear that your homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover, you will still be compensated for what you need.
- Catastrophe insurance and homeowners insurance is similar in the fact that they are both are dedicated to protecting someone’s home, but they are two very different things and two very different forms of coverage. Catastrophe insurance can cover and offer protection for businesses too and it offers protection against both natural and man-made disasters.
Why should you be considering this kind of coverage now? When disaster strikes, you’re left in a dire situation worrying about how to keep a roof over your head and your family safe and fed. Having to call around to make inquiries during this time can be difficult and next to impossible if you’re one of many trying to contact the same insurance company during the aftermath of a disaster. Having this extra coverage in place will give you peace of mind at all times, and comfort if disaster does appear. You will know who to call and what will be taken care of right away, and be able to get back to your normal life in no time. Think ahead and give yourself and your family the gift of being completely covered no matter what’s to come. We are here for all your questions, policy needs, and more. Never hesitate to reach out and call! We’re Abri Insurance and we are here to make sure you have the best coverage for life in the Lowcountry!