Home insurance can protect against extreme weather, but about half of Americans don’t understand it

CLOSE

Amid a red-hot housing market, a large number of prospective buyers are overlooking some of the fine details about insuring their big investment, according to a popular real estate listing website.

Data from Realtor.com found that listings are on the market for 35 fewer days compared with last year, and that many purchasers aren’t factoring how extreme weather events can affect the value of their property.

In a July survey of more than 3,000 Americans, Realtor.com found:

Just over half (56%) of homeowners knew what to look for in their homeowners insurance policy when buying their home, with 15% saying they had no clue what to check.

The youngest generation is the least likely to understand homeowners insurance: Only 39% of Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) said they knew what to look for in their policy when buying a home, compared with 58% of Millennials (1981 to 1996) and 58% of Gen X (1965 to 1980), and 57% of baby boomers (1946 to 1964).

Fifty-two percent of American homeowners took natural disasters into account when choosing the location of their current home.

Here are some common extreme weather scenarios and whether they are covered by home insurance, courtesy of Realtors.com:

Tornadoes

Tornadoes ranked the highest concern in the study, with 39% of homeowners saying they were concerned about tornadoes. Based on insurance data from 2009 to 2016, wind-related incidents made up 24% of home insurance claims, higher than any other category.

Home insurance typically covers damage caused to your house because of tornadoes or windstorms – but only to a certain degree.

In Tornado Alley, which includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska, a homeowner may have to pay an additional deductible for wind damage. It could cover a “total loss” event, meaning that in the case the house is destroyed, the policy would pay to rebuild it.

Cold weather, snow damage

Most damage by cold weather or snow is covered by home insurance, unless a homeowner demonstrates negligence. For example, if a homeowner leaves the heat on in a house during cold weather and a pipe bursts, the owner would have to cover the cost. However, if a snowstorm occurred and there wasn’t anything an owner could do to prevent the damage, the insurance would cover it.

Floods

Flooding is the most common natural disaster to affect homes, yet it is not covered in standard home insurance plans. So, homeowners will need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer.

In certain flood-prone zones, the Federal Emergency Management Agency requires that homeowners purchase flood insurance, a policy that affects more than 5 million people, according to CNBC.

Recent flood news: ‘Not knowing is the hardest part’: Hope of finding flooding survivors dims in Waverly, Tennessee

More flood news: ‘Never seen anything this devastating’: At least 2 dead, 17 missing in North Carolina county flooded by Fred

Earthquakes

Home insurance excludes earthquakes, so homeowners in earthquake-prone areas should purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy. Even with earthquake insurance, it won’t necessarily cover rebuilding your home.

Hurricanes

Damage from hurricanes can come from wind or water, meaning it is influenced by a mix of policies. Like tornadoes, wind damage is typically covered by home insurance, though a homeowner may need to pay an additional deductible before the policy covers the damages.

Water damage, like flooding, is not always covered and needs to be purchased separately as flood insurance.

Michelle Shen is a Money & Tech Digital Reporter for USATODAY. You can reach her @michelle_shen10 on Twitter.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/real-estate/2021/08/27/your-home-protected-against-extreme-weather-and-natural-disasters/5608307001/

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

8 Financial Tips For Young Adults

By Aysia Morton May 20, 2022 / 11:13 AM Financial realities might be a tidal wave when you’re a young adult. You’re given new duties, such as how much money you need to spend, save, or invest. It might be frustrating and difficult to understand. Even searching the internet for financial help can be daunting.

Read More »

After George Floyd’s murder, Wall Street promised billions of dollars to help Black Americans. 2 years later, here’s where that money went and how it’s being used.

As Dominik Mjartan approached JPMorgan’s towering global headquarters on New York City’s Park Avenue on a Friday afternoon in September, he couldn’t help but feel skeptical. Mjartan, the CEO of Optus Bank, a South Carolina lender with $350 million assets under management, was there to meet Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan. The meeting was

Read More »

International 7-Day News Agenda

Text size Please note that all times are in GMT. Major events are listed under ‘Highlights’. For full details of our coverage of top stories, please see our regularly updated News Advisory. (+) : Event added in the last 24 hours. (*) : Event updated in the last 24 hours. UNITED STATES – Covid test

Read More »

8 Financial Tips For Young Adults

By Aysia Morton May 20, 2022 / 11:13 AM Financial realities might be a tidal wave when you’re a young adult. You’re given new duties, such as how much money you need to spend, save, or invest. It might be frustrating and difficult to understand. Even searching the internet for financial help can be daunting.

Read More »

After George Floyd’s murder, Wall Street promised billions of dollars to help Black Americans. 2 years later, here’s where that money went and how it’s being used.

As Dominik Mjartan approached JPMorgan’s towering global headquarters on New York City’s Park Avenue on a Friday afternoon in September, he couldn’t help but feel skeptical. Mjartan, the CEO of Optus Bank, a South Carolina lender with $350 million assets under management, was there to meet Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan. The meeting was

Read More »

International 7-Day News Agenda

Text size Please note that all times are in GMT. Major events are listed under ‘Highlights’. For full details of our coverage of top stories, please see our regularly updated News Advisory. (+) : Event added in the last 24 hours. (*) : Event updated in the last 24 hours. UNITED STATES – Covid test

Read More »
Scroll to Top