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What can I do about the earthquake and flood exclusions?

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Standard home insurance policies do not provide protection against earthquakes, floods, or other natural disasters. These exclusions are common to almost all homeowner's insurance policies, and are related to the extreme losses insurance companies would suffer if they had to pay out earthquake damage claims on all of their customers in a given region. Some types of coverage may not even be available from the local insurance companies.

If you live in an area that is prone to earthquake activity, you may not have many options for getting earthquake insurance. If you are having trouble finding earthquake coverage, speak to other local homeowners to find out what they were able to do. In many cases, your choices will be to pay for a special high risk insurance policy, or secure coverage through state insurance pools. Insurance pools are set up by the state and contributed to by all participating insurance companies. Even if there is no other earthquake coverage available in your area, your state insurance department will be able to put you in contact with the insurance pool.

Flood insurance works the same as earthquake insurance. In other areas, the local catastrophe might be a volcano, periodic wildfires, or even severe storms such as hurricanes. In all of these cases, regular homeowner insurance will not be sufficient protection if a disaster occurs, and your best course of action would be to go to the website of your state insurance department and find out who to contact for the special coverage. Bear in mind that this coverage is a separate plan and you will have to pay premiums for it as well as your regular home insurance.

answered Oct 19, 2010 by anonymous
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