What disasters does home insurance cover

Homeowners insurance policies typically cover natural disasters such as fire, lightning, hail and windstorms. Most homeowners insurance does not cover natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, or nuclear catastrophes.

It is important to understand what homeowners insurance covers and does not cover in the event of a natural catastrophe. There are many types of policy available. Find out what homeowners insurance covers, what it doesn’t and what you can do if you are affected by a natural catastrophe.

Get to know your insurance policy

Your homeowner’s insurance covers you for any damages to your home or personal possessions. Home insurance may also cover you against financial liability for injuries that others cause in your home. It can also help you to pay additional living expenses if you have to relocate temporarily due to damage. There are many home insurance policies. There are different types of home insurance policies. Some have greater restrictions than others.

It is important that you understand the type of policy you have as well as what natural disasters your homeowners policy covers. Exclusions can be found in all policy types, particularly if you live near natural disasters. You may need additional coverage or should you discuss your policy with your provider.

  • HO-1 is the most basic form homeowners insurance. Your home and any attached structures are covered. This includes an explosion, fire lightning, hail, windstorms and volcanic eruption. Personal belongings are not covered by HO-1.
  • HO-2 (also known as broad-form) HO-2 policies include all the coverages of HO-1, plus personal property. This policy type typically covers damage from snow, ice, sleet, and freezing pipes.
  • HO-3 An HO-3 policy, which is the standard home insurance policy, covers all that an HO-2 policy does, plus additional living expenses and medical costs. HO-3 policies are generally open perils policies. This means that your home structure is covered for all types of damage, except those exclusions listed by your provider. This type of policy will usually only cover your personal property.
  • HO-4 is another name for renter’s insurance. It typically covers personal property against named perils and provides some liability coverage. Additional living expenses coverage may be available in certain cases. These named perils provide coverage that is similar to an HO-2.
  • HO-5 An HO-5 homeowners policy is more comprehensive than an HO-3 and provides greater coverage. It protects your home and personal property from all perils, with some exceptions.
  • HO-6. Also known as condo owners insurance, an HO-6 provides coverage for named perils that cause damage to the unit. It also covers personal liability and extra living expenses.
  • HO-7 The HO-7 policies are for mobile and manufactured homes. They typically provide coverage similar to an H-3 with open perils for the structure and named personal perils for personal property.
  • HO-8 An HO-8 policy covers homes more difficult to replace. For example, a home with an older or more valuable design that would be more expensive to fix or replace than its current value. Standard coverage for damage to your home or personal property is included in HO-8s. There are also additional coverage for medical expenses.

What disasters are covered under homeowners insurance?

To be certain that you are protected for a natural catastrophe, check with your agent. You can choose the coverage limits that you want, depending on whether you have homeowners, condo, or renters insurance policies.


Tornadoes can cause severe damage to your home and personal property. These types of damages are covered by most dwelling and personal property insurance. If hail or wind damages your roof, and rainwater causes damage to your home, your policy should cover you unless it does not. You may need separate deductibles for hail or wind in some areas that are prone to tornadoes. These are called disaster-deductibles. Flood damage from a tornado is not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies, but would be covered by a separate flood insurance plan.


Hurricanes can also cause damage to personal property and dwelling structures, just like tornadoes. Although hurricane damage from hail and wind is usually covered, there may be a deductible or limited coverage if you live near the coast. Flood damage is not covered by flood insurance policies.


Your dwelling and personal property are covered under standard homeowners insurance policies in the event of fire. There are usually no restrictions, except that your policy limits may be exceeded if you live in an area susceptible to wildfires or the fire was deliberately set. You are covered for the destruction and removal of any damaged items and belongings. If they aren’t listed property, high-value items such as jewelry and fine art may not be covered.


It is usually covered if something explodes around your home. In the event of an accidental explosion, both your dwelling and personal property insurance should pay. Also covered is an explosion due to riot.


Lightning strikes can set off a fire or cause damage to your home wiring. Standard homeowners insurance typically covers your dwelling and personal property. This includes lightning striking a tree that damages your home or other belongings. However, the cost of removing the tree might not be covered by homeowners insurance.


An volcanic eruption can also cause ash, dust and lava flows, as well as shock waves. Most homeowners insurance covers damage to their dwellings and personal property. An explosion or fire that results should also be covered. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover earthquakes, landslide and tremors caused by volcanoes.

Extreme cold

Standard homeowners insurance policies typically cover your home and personal property if they are damaged by extreme temperature. The pipe that bursts from the cold may not be covered. However, it should cover the damage. If the damage is to your home or personal property, it will usually be covered by the weight of snow, ice or sleet. Melting snow can seep into your home and cause water damage. This is typically not covered. Instead, you would need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.

These disasters are not covered under homeowners insurance

While most natural disasters are covered under homeowners insurance, some are not.


All homeowners insurance policies do not include flood coverage. Flood events have become more frequent in the United States, particularly in recent years due to climate change.

Flood insurance can be purchased by homeowners through their insurance agent or directly through the National Flood Insurance Program. The average flood claim was paid by NFIP between 2010 and 2018. It was $45,925. Flood insurance costs vary by state and depending on where your home is located on the flood risk map. The cost of coverage can vary from $600 to over $1,200 annually.


Although earthquakes are not covered by homeowners insurance policies, many carriers offer endorsements that can be added to your policy at an additional cost. Nearly half of the U.S. are at risk of earthquake damage.

The annual cost of earthquake insurance averages between $100 and $300. It may be worth speaking with your agent about earthquake insurance if you are unable to replace or rebuild your home.


tsunami, which is often caused by underwater volcanic eruptions or earthquakes, is a huge wave that can travel far in the inland. These devastating waves are not covered under homeowners insurance. However, flood insurance will cover the damage from tsunami waves.

Nuclear event

You could be completely destroyed by a nuclear explosion or nuclear event. Your homeowners insurance won’t cover a nuclear incident, but plants must have liability insurance in order to protect the public from injury or property damage.

What to do after a natural catastrophe

A natural disaster can cause severe damage, especially if your home is damaged or you suffer personal injury. You can prevent damage from occurring and keep yourself safe in the event of a natural disaster by having an emergency kit prepared. You can use sandbags or other building materials, such as plywood, to keep water out of your home and prevent high winds from causing damage or windows and doors to be blown or broken.

To ensure you are protected against damage from natural disasters, it is a good idea that you speak to your home insurer. Assess the damage caused by a natural catastrophe and file a claim. Keep track of all expenses, make temporary repairs, and keep track of any costs while you wait for the claims adjuster. You can also find community resources, such as programs offered by the government and non-profits that are available to assist you after a disaster.