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June 2, 2023
Even on a clear, sunny spring day, the weather can turn unexpectedly dangerous. What begins as a seemingly harmless cloud can rapidly intensify into a raging tornado with damaging hail, advancing with the speed and ferocity of a wildfire.
Natural disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, wreaking havoc on homes and personal property. In fact, 18 natural disasters caused more than $1 billion in damages each in the U.S. during 2022. Weather is unpredictable, but having the right insurance protection can provide peace of mind and greater financial security.
With the potential to bring intense winds and torrential rain, hurricanes and tornadoes can cause widespread devastation. Hurricane Ian destroyed 5,000 homes and damaged 30,000 others in Florida alone. Standard homeowners insurance policies typically cover wind damage, but not flooding. However, depending on where you live, some policies may exclude or reduce coverage for wind damage, or they may be subject to a separate deductible in certain circumstances. To fully understand your coverage, it’s a good idea to review with your agent what your particular policy stipulates in the event of a tornado or hurricane.
Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the U.S., with an average of one flood every day for 300 days of the year. Sadly, these near-daily occurrences can lead to substantial financial losses. And homes outside of flood zones can and often do suffer flood damage. While standard homeowners policies may provide coverage for some types of water damage — such as intrusions from faulty utilities or leaky roofs — they typically don’t insure against damage from floods. A flood policy can cover damage directly caused by a flood.
Did you know that 39 U.S. states have experienced earthquakes since 1900? While many earthquakes are minor, larger ones can be devastating. If you live in an area that’s prone to these events, it’s a good idea to review your insurance policy to make sure your possessions are adequately covered — sometimes, items inside a home can fall and break while the structure itself remains relatively unscathed. Standard homeowners policies may cover damage from fires that spark as a result of an earthquake, but most often, a separate policy must be purchased to receive reimbursement for damage to your home or possessions resulting directly from an earthquake.
Wildfires caused by lightning or human activity can spread quickly, destroying entire neighborhoods and communities. There are three major types of fire coverage: dwelling insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home; other structures insurance for damage to detached garages and other outdoor structures; and personal property insurance used to replace your damaged belongings.
Lightning strikes can cause fires, topple trees onto roofs and damage appliances and electrical systems. The lightning capital of the U.S. — Four Corners, Florida — experienced 474 lightning strikes per square kilometer in 2022, according to Vaisala’s annual report. But lightning can occur anywhere there’s rain or clouds. Most homeowners policies will provide protection from lightning damage, and your auto insurance may as well — if you have comprehensive coverage. This coverage may only reimburse you for the actual cash value of your appliances and other belongings unless your coverage stipulates full replacement value. In addition, to prove that lightning caused the damage, you may have to take pictures of a hole or char mark from the strike.
Hailstorms can come on suddenly and cause significant damage to houses, cars, and detached structures. The largest hailstone recorded in the U.S. measured eight inches in diameter and weighed a whopping two pounds. In a severe thunderstorm, the fall speed can reach up to 40 miles per hour! Most home and car insurance covers damage from hail, but it’s a good idea to verify this by reviewing your policy with your agent. If you have an RV, shed, or boat, make sure they’re protected as well. And be aware that some plans may exclude cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect the functionality of your home, auto, or other items.
Although it may be tempting to think “That could never happen to me,” the truth is natural disasters can affect anyone. You can’t prevent a natural disaster from happening, but you can avoid the financial disruption caused by losses not covered by insurance. With natural disasters impacting every state, everyone should be prepared. We Insure’s knowledgeable agents can help you find the protection you need at a competitive price. Contact us for a fast and free quote — before disaster strikes.
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The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. We Insure makes no guarantees of results from the use of this information.