If your homeowners insurance is a basic policy, then it is possible that you may not be covered in cases of natural disasters.
Different states have varied laws regarding coverage policies, so it is best to review your homeowners insurance policy. Read and understand the specific details to determine the inclusion or ommission of natural disasters in your coverage.
Insurance against natural disasters may require extra coverage other than the basic homeowners policy. Thus, you will have to apply for a special policy to protect you against specific natural catastrophes.
Take a look at the following discussion on the common types of calamities against which you may need insurance coverage:
Insurance protection from floods
While most private insurers will not typically write policies against floods and the resultant damages, you can often secure coverage if your home is located in an area considered by government authorities to be flood-prone and hence, included in the <a href="http://www.e-wisdom.com/tips/insurance/home-insurance/about-the-national-flood-insurance-plan-nfip/">National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)</a>.
Insurance companies participating in the NFIP issue a separate flood insurance policy to provide homeowners protection against the peril of flood and you will need to apply specifically for the coverage. The amount you will pay as premium is dependent on how severe flooding can be in your locality.
The computation of your premium payments also takes into account the flood control programs for your district as set by the Federal government or your state, as well as the flood control measures being undertaken in your county.
Insuring against earthquakes
Earthquake coverage is mandatory in areas that often experience tremors. One such place is California where past earthquakes had been disastrous.
You should know that your basic home insurance policy may include protection against earthquakes but you will need to endorse it. A formal acknowledgement by the policy holder is required before the coverage is included in the policy.
If you decide to endorse the earthquake coverage, you will need to pay an additional premium on top of the base amount you're paying for your basic policy.
However, you retain the option of not endorsing the earthquake coverage. Note that premiums can be steep if you are living in a high-risk, earthquake-prone place.
The amount of your premium depends on how far or how near you are to a major fault line and the type of construction materials used in your home.
While many forego their endorsement of the earthquake clause, you would want to closely review your policy and look into your chances before deciding if you will take a risk or apply for that special coverage.
Insuring against wind and storm damage
Wind storm damage is normally covered by the basic insurance policy but most insurance companies do not include tornadoes and hurricanes under the wind storm classification. You will need a special coverage specifically for them.
If you are located in Florida or other areas where the risk of hurricanes is high, you may need to apply for a supplemental coverage for damages caused by hurricanes.
Those living in the State of Texas usually get a separate insurance policy for tornadoes. Do not presume that the windstorm coverage of your standard homeowners insurance automatically includes damages from hurricanes and tornadoes. They are classified separately and require special policies.