Homeowners insurance does not cover disasters like earthquakes and floods so supplemental policies should be considered. Flooding from Hurricane Irene caused many problems in Berkshire County, especially The Spruces in Williamstown. The following article from house logic.com offers some advice for homeowners.
Homeowners insurance can protect you from many of life’s calamities, but your policy doesn’t shield you from all of the tricks Mother Nature has up her sleeve. In fact, standard policies specifically exclude most natural disasters.
In some areas of the country, where the risk is higher, hurricanes and earthquakes are often exempted. Some policies may cover flooding from rain, but exclude water damage from tidal surges, which can be a far greater threat. Enter disaster insurance, which covers losses sustained from specific catastrophes that traditional homeowners policies avoid.
While supplemental disaster coverage is usually available to at-risk property owners, buying a policy isn’t always a no-brainer. The high premiums and deductibles, and low chance of a disaster actually striking your home, give reason for pause. Before calling your agent consider your risk-tolerance, and conduct your own personal cost-benefit analysis.
Flirting with disaster insurance
Before you begin shopping around for disaster insurance, you need to look at your existing homeowners policy to determine which events are covered and which are excluded, says Larry Cochran, CEO of IAS Claims Services, an independent claims adjusting firm in San Antonio, Texas. Read all of the endorsements carefully. If you still have questions, call your insurance agent for answers.
Once you understand what’s already covered, you need to evaluate the specific disaster risks where you live. The office of your state’s insurance commissioner is a good place to start. The Federal Emergency Management Administration has information about various types of natural hazards and data on the history of disasters in various regions. The National Flood Insurance Program offers flood maps and guidelines for evaluating risk.