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Natural Disaster Insurance – Protection from Natural Disasters | HomeID®

03-06-17 9:34 AM by HOMEID
Natural Disaster Insurance – Protection from Natural Disasters | HomeID®


Natural Disaster Insurance – How to Protect Your Home from Natural Disasters

HomeID is a home management SaaS (software as a service) that aims to provide homeowners with the tools and knowledge needed to live a fulfilling life.

Your home is one of your most expensive assets, and it is extremely important that you have systems in place to effectively protect, maintain, and improve your household. One of HomeID’s main features is the ability to track your home inventory and important home documents via a conveniently formatted cloud-based interface.

Tracking your home inventory allows your insurance company to provide you with the most accurate insurance coverage you need and ensures that you will be able to submit accurate claims in the case of a loss or emergency.

The following blog post will provide you with clarity as to what coverage homeowners are typically provided through standard homeowner’s insurance, how to best protect your home from natural disasters, and the steps it takes to file an accurate home insurance claim.

Does Insurance Cover Natural Disasters?

Does homeowners insurance cover natural disasters? To answer this question simply, standard homeowners insurance does not cover ALL natural disasters. 

A standard policy will typically cover limited damages related to natural disasters such as a fire, wind, hail, broken pipes, etc.

However, it does not cover earthquakes, flooding, or pest damage. A standard homeowners insurance policy typically comprises of four main categories:

  • Home structure: Walls, roof, garage, etc.
  • Belongings: Theft of your personal assets such as your TV or stereo system, etc. both in your house or while traveling with these items.
  • Liability: Covers any injuries endured by guests that are visiting your home such as a tragic fall or scrape.
  • Additional Living Expenses (ALE): This covers any hotel or restaurant bills when forced to temporarily live out of your home due to a natural disaster.

Although standard homeowners insurance does not cover earthquakes or floods, there is specific insurance for natural disasters.  However, not all households choose to invest in these additional natural disaster insurance coverages for a number of reasons.

One reason would be their assumption that their standard homeowners insurance covers these things. Another would be the cost.

On average, earthquake insurance typically costs anywhere from $800 - $5,000 annually across the U.S. whereas flood insurance could cost up to $700 annually. These price points vary depending on the condition of the home and the risk probability of these natural disasters occurring in a particular geographic region.

A third reason why homeowners may avoid paying for these additional coverages is the fact that they feel that there is no way that a natural disaster will impact them negatively.

Homeowners have the option to invest in insurance policies that cover natural disasters such earthquakes and floods. But what about coverage for termite and other pest damages?

Interestingly enough, the vast majority of insurance companies see pest damages as the homeowner’s failure to keep up with normal home maintenance. It is therefore highly uncommon for an insurance company to offer such coverage.

How to File a Home Insurance Claim

Let’s say you have what you believe to be the proper insurance coverage for your home.

Your home was broken into and several of your expensive belongings were stolen. You may know how much that stolen TV and laptop was worth, but does your insurance company know?

In order to be properly reimbursed by your insurance, you must follow a proper homeowners insurance claims process.

The following steps contain home insurance claims advice that is extremely important and relevant for most instances.

  • Step 1: If you are filing a claim due to a burglary, the first thing you want to do is report it to the police.
  • Step 2: Once the theft was reported, you will want to call your insurance agent to inform them of what had happened. It is important to ask if you are covered for the damages and if the claim you are seeking to file is likely to exceed your deductible.
  • Step 3: Capture photos of damaged property and/or collect photos of missing belongings you had filed in your home inventory.
  • Step 4: Be sure not to change the state of the damaged or missing property prior to filing your claim or having your home inspected by an adjuster.
  • Step 5: If you were forced to seek shelter elsewhere as a result of the natural disaster or theft, be sure to keep all of your receipts to ensure reimbursements from your insurance.
  • Step 6: Acquire claim forms from your insurance company to fill out and send back as soon as possible.
  • Step 7: Have an insurance adjuster inspect your home so that they can capture a more accurate record of the damages.
  • Step 8: Once steps 1 - 7 have been completed, your insurance company must promptly pay you back.

With HomeID, filing a homeowners insurance claim is easy. As explained previously, one of HomeID’s main features is the home inventory tool.

By utilizing this tool prior to a natural disaster, you can benefit by having the proper insurance coverage and having the ability to file a quick and accurate insurance claim in the case of a loss or emergency. With HomeID, collecting a home inventory is simple.

Complete with a mobile-compatible interface, HomeID is structured in a way that all of your belongings can be accounted for even on a room by room basis. HomeID encourages that you document your possessions by capturing photos, taking an inventory of your assets and their values, and keeping your receipts organized.

According to, some of the most common home insurance claims filed in 2016 were related to wind and hail, water damage and freezing, and property damage such as vandalism, theft, fire, and lightning. Now that you know what it takes to file a home insurance claim, you must be wondering what exactly you are able to claim on home insurance.

The following will explain the typical claim process, coverages, and costs linked to natural disaster insurances such as earthquake, fire, flood, hazard, windstorm, and tornado insurance to give you a better understanding of what additional insurance coverages can provide.

Earthquake Insurance:

Typical earthquake insurances cover damages to your home, personal belongings and any ALE following the sudden shaking of the ground from the movement of the earth’s crust.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, nearly 200,000 earthquakes occur each year with 42 states being at risk. Depending on the risk potential tied to the geographic location, the age of the home, materials used to build the home, the cost to rebuild the home and any associated deductibles, earthquake policies have the potential to differ greatly in price.

As mentioned previously, such policies typically vary between $800 - $5,000 annually. It is also valuable to note what most earthquake insurances do NOT cover. Any fires or floods that result from an earthquake, as well as any damaged vehicles or fences are usually not covered.

To file a claim for damages related to an earthquake, the process is similar to that of the standard claim filing process explained previously. Getting in contact with your insurance company and discussing coverage is key. It is important to then capture photos of any visible damage (usually cosmetic). When an earthquake occurs, it is possible for there to be some structural damage that cannot be seen on the surface. It is important that your insurance company sets up a detailed home inspection to ensure that any unseen damages are taken care of at the time of the incident.

It is important that your insurance company sets up a detailed home inspection to ensure that any unseen damages are taken care of at the time of the incident.

Some simple tips to making your home more earthquake safe include: leaving heavier items on lower shelves, bolting heavy towering furniture items such as dressers, bookcases, and entertainment centers to the ground/wall, and installing automatic gas shut-off valves.

Fire Insurance:

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 357,000 residential fires are reported each year that result in more than $7 billion in property losses. 

Fortunately, standard homeowners insurance provides you with fire damage coverage for both internal and external cases. Whether it is a small kitchen fire or an act of arson, your standard homeowners insurance provides you with coverage.

It is important to take into consideration, however, that this coverage has limitations and that if you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, an additional fire insurance policy may be necessary. 

Fire insurance rates vary depending on the level of risk of your geographic location. In order to prevent fires in or around your home, make sure that your fire alarms are functioning, your roof gutters are clear of debris, and any dead or dry vegetation is removed from around your house. Taking steps to lower your fire risk-potential can actually lower your fire insurance rates.

When filing a fire insurance claim, it is important to note the date of the loss, the location, any related injuries, individuals involved, the condition of the home, a description of damaged contents (pulled from your HomeID home inventory), whether or not temporary repairs are necessary, and a police report if the fire was caused due to a crime. If you were forced to evacuate due to the fire, be sure to conceal your home to avoid further damage or the possibility of loiterers.

Flood Insurance:

When it comes to flood insurance, there are two possible options that a homeowner can either decide to purchase both or just one of. 

One option relates to building property coverage. This includes your home structure, including the foundation, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, cabinets, and the garage. The other option covers personal belongings. This would typically include furniture, appliances, clothing, and some valuables. 

On the other hand, it is important to note what flood insurance does NOT typically cover. These include mold/mildew damage, damage to currency, precious metals and paper valuables, decks, fences, landscaping, and vehicles. 

Filing a claim for a flood loss is very similar to the other insurance policies mentioned thus far. You are to notify your insurance company of the losses, document the damage, have an inspection performed, and file the claim. 

Hazard Insurance:

Hazard insurance is no different than standard homeowners insurance. In fact, hazard insurance is a mortgage company’s way of verifying that you have insurance covering the structure of your home.

As mentioned previously, home structure coverage is one of the four segments of homeowners insurance. In this case, hazard insurance is not something that can be purchased in addition to homeowners insurance and it is important that you relieve yourself of this common misconception.

Windstorm Insurance:

As mentioned previously, standard homeowners insurance covers wind damages. However, in areas prone to hurricanes, tornados, extreme hail, and exposure to wind gusts exceeding 35 miles per hour, you may want to consider investing in added windstorm insurance. 

Such insurance typically covers both your home structure and your personal belongings. However, if a flood were to occur due to the result of a windstorm related incident, you would not be covered unless you had flood insurance already installed. 

To file a claim related to a windstorm incident, you will follow a similar process to the other insurance coverages mentioned above. You will first want to contact your insurance company, capture photos of damaged materials, have your insurance company send someone out to inspect the home for damage, and file a claim.

Tornado Insurance:

Similar to hazard insurance, tornado insurance is not a typical standalone insurance policy.

In fact, most homeowners insurances cover tornado damage to a certain degree. However, if you are seeking additional coverage in a region prone to tornado damage, it would be appropriate to shop for a windstorm insurance policy that suits your needs and budget.

HomeID Testimonials

  1. “My insurance company explained to me how important home inventory tracking can be. HomeID made this process simple and enjoyable to accomplish.” – Kailey
  1. “I wish I knew about HomeID years ago. It has everything I need to keep my house in check.” – Lisa Bowman

Get Started With HomeID!

HomeID is a fully-integrated home management SaaS. Our system is absolutely free and aims to provide you with a mobile-compatible and secure cloud-based solution to manage all of your home. Whether it may be home inventory tracking, home and product warranty documentation, convenient home maintenance scheduling, licensed contractor search, or connected smart home technology - HomeID has everything you need to provide comfort, safety, and peace of mind to your household.