Disaster insurance

Disaster insurance is something that most homeowners need, regardless of where they live. No matter where your home is located, some type of natural disaster can destroy it. Do you have sufficient disaster insurance? It really depends on the types of homeowners' insurance you have, and to what extent those policies protect your home. Following is a basic guide to help you determine if you need more disaster insurance.

Earthquake Insurance

If you live in an area where earthquakes are common, disaster insurance will help protect your home in the event it is destroyed by an earthquake. Unfortunately, most homeowners' insurance policies don't automatically give you that type of coverage, so you'll have to purchase it as an addition to your current coverage or in another policy. In most cases, you'll want sufficient coverage to replace your entire house if it is leveled.

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In California and other areas where earthquakes occur frequently, you can purchase "mini-policies" that provide disaster insurance to cover your home, but will not cover everything inside of it or other additions that you've purchased to improve the value. Most people are encouraged to purchase full policies, and premiums will depend on the location of your home, the quality of construction, its age and other factors.

Flood Insurance

If you live near an ocean, river or lake, flood is a disaster you don't want to mess with. Disaster insurance policies are necessary to cover floods because most homeowners' insurance policies just don't. In fact, in some areas of the country, the law requires that you purchase this insurance to guard against potential damage. Without it, you would up a creek (pun intended) if your home were to suffer serious damage.

For example, most homeowners' policies will cover flooding from a burst pipe or overflowing bathtub, but you need disaster insurance for "acts of God" that cause flooding, such as an overflowing river nearby. This is extremely important if you think your home might be in danger.

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