The year isn’t quite over, but it’s already been one for the U.S. record books in terms of natural disasters. Turning on the TV or logging online often means learning about an emerging weather threat or seeing a tragic follow-up report. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that there have been 15 weather disasters exceeding $1 billion each. If you can envision a type of natural disaster, it’s likely occurred: freezes, droughts, storms, cyclones, floods, and fires.
While no one can control the weather, people can take precautionary measures. For instance, homeowners insurance in Florida , California, and Texas (just to name a few) protects its coastal residents against many damage types. Each region comes with its own risks. Researching what those risks are can mean the difference between rebuilding your home or being left with nothing.
It’s also important to understand what’s covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. According to the Insurance Information Institute, fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, volcanic eruptions, and explosions are covered across the board. Most policies cover winter woes like ice, snow, and sleet buildup. However, even all-perils policies tend to exclude external flooding, earthquakes, sinkholes, and landslides. To protect against these hazards, you’ll have to add umbrella coverage to your standard policy or obtain a peril-specific policy.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest disasters of 2017 thus far.
● South: In January, 79 tornadoes broke out in South Carolina and the Gulf states, causing 24 deaths and $1.1 billion in damage.
● Central South: Between February 28 and March 1, more than 70 tornadoes caused two deaths and $1.8 billion in property damage.
● Midwest: In early March, 11 states experienced tornadoes. These resulted in two deaths and property damage totaling $2.1 billion.
A rash of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes hit Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico in succession. The winds, rain, and flooding displaced millions of people. Hundreds of people died and many more were left without access to power, shelter, food, and water in the aftermath. The total extent of the damage is not yet known, but estimates place it in the hundreds of billions of dollars. This hurricane season turned out to be the seventh most active in history .
Many residents in California wine country recently saw their homes, businesses, and worldly possessions go up in smoke. Dry weather conditions spurred on over 20 fires, many concentrated north of San Francisco. At least 8,400 structures burned up in wildfires. Over 100,000 people had to leave their homes—and their futures are still uncertain.
In the event of natural disasters like these, the number one priority is immediate safety. This may involve temporary evacuation until the danger has passed. The next challenge is rebuilding your life in the aftermath, which is no easy feat.
Why is homeowners insurance in Florida, Texas, California, South Carolina, Louisiana, and elsewhere in the U.S. so important? Having the right policy means homeowners don’t have to pay out of pocket to rebuild, renovate, and establish temporary lodging.
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