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Disaster Decision

Disaster insurance is typically defined as additional homeowner’s insurance to cover events like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods. Home insurance policies typically cover hurricanes and tornadoes (review your policy to be certain in covers damage from such events). But often damage from floods and earthquakes isn’t covered. This extra insurance, if desired, must be purchased in addition to your standard homeowner policy, and it can be expensive, depending on where you live.

Because disaster insurance can be expensive, it’s a type of coverage some homeowners opt not to buy. But in some cases they are required to buy. For example, mortgaged homes in the US that are located in designated flood hazard areas are required to buy flood insurance through the US National Flood Insurance Program. Of course, once those mortgages are paid, there is no longer a requirement to buy such insurance.

But homeowners in those areas should carefully consider whether they really want to take the risk that their home and everything in it could be swept away, leaving them with nothing but an empty lot. Homeowners that aren’t in designated flood hazard areas should still know that floods can cause plumbing problems, like sewer and septic backups. These often aren’t covered in a standard homeowner’s policy, and they may want to consider an endorsement for coverage.