Does My Home Insurance Cover Natural Disasters?

One of the best ways to maintain value in your home is by making sure there isn’t any major damage. This includes water damage and mold, broken roof tiles, compromised siding, and foundation issues. But what happens if a major storm rips through your neighborhood? Does home insurance cover natural disasters? Well, it depends.

Your home insurance policy will outline exactly which types of incidents are eligible for coverage. If you live on a street below a hill that tends to flood after a summer storm, you’ll want to pay special attention to water damage coverage. In many cases, you’ll need supplemental insurance that pays out for natural disasters (sometimes called acts of God).

As you choose a home insurance policy that helps you protect your equity, here are some things to keep in mind.

What does home insurance usually cover?

Each policy is different, and home insurance policies that cover more are apt to have a higher premium. As a general rule, you can count on your home insurance policy to accept claims for theft and fire. In some cases, your homeowner’s insurance may even extend to theft from your car if it’s on the property. Your policy may also allow you to file a claim if your home sustains damage from smoke or vandalism.

Does home insurance cover natural disasters?

Many home insurance policies exclude natural disasters. This can include flooding, hurricanes, hail, tornadoes, earthquakes, and more. If you live in Northern California and may experience an earthquake or hail damage, you will want to purchase separate coverage for these types of incidents. If you don’t, your regular homeowner’s insurance plan is likely to reject your claim after a big storm or wildfire. Other types of natural disasters that are not covered by home insurance can include: mudslides, landslides, lightning strikes, sinkholes, and wind damage from extreme storms.

Do I really need natural disaster coverage?

The short answer is: Yes. If you live in an area that often floods or you had hail damage last time there was a storm, now is the time to protect yourself. At bare minimum, home owners in Northern California should always have earthquake coverage. Not only does this mean you can get your home repaired after a natural disaster and live safely there for years to come — but it could pay off big time when you move. A home with significant storm damage is unlikely to sell at market value. You could end up with a home that sits on the market for many months and can’t seem to sell because the foundation is cracked or a roof leak has led to a mold problem.

What to do if you can’t sell your home

Did you experience a natural disaster that was not covered by insurance? You may have better luck selling to a cash buyer who is prepared to undertake a complicated fixer upper. At California Family Homebuyers, we purchase homes in the Sacramento area that need major repairs but have potential. If your roof has significant hail damage or you can’t afford to fix some flood damage — give us a call. We may be able to purchase your home for cash so you don’t have to deal with complicated contingencies and inspections that will put off a traditional buyer.

Homes that are not covered by natural disaster coverage may become uninhabitable or cost you a pretty penny to fix on your own. Get natural disaster insurance today! If you already have significant damage to your home because of a storm, earthquake, or other act of god, selling to a cash buyer may be the solution to your problem.

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