Coverage Gaps: Flood, Mudslide, and Earthquake Exclusions

Why aren't these perils covered in a standard (unendorsed) Homeowner’s/Renter's policy? How can I get these covered? Do I really need to have these perils covered?

Thousands of homeowners are surprised each year by flooding, and some of them are even more surprised when their insurer denies their claim! Similar scenarios happen for both earthquakes and mudslides, too. What many homeowners don’t realize is that their standard Homeowner’s/Renter's policies do not cover these perils!

The reason these perils aren't covered is because they are typically part of catastrophes, and catastrophes are often hard to cover by a non-government entity. The typical insurer simply doesn't have the financial capability to insure everyone in a flood zone. That’s why programs such as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were made. 

So there are certain parts of the U.S. that are drastically susceptible to floods, mudslides or earthquakes, and those places are where government programs really come in. The rest of the United States is in low to medium risk zones, which can often be insured by private insurers--but only by endorsement! Remember that no standard form of the Homeowner’s or Renter's policies will cover any of these perils!

So if you've gone this long without these coverages, do you really need to insure them now? Flood maps and fault maps are available online, and for those in Nebraska, we have a low to moderate risk of flood, mudslide, and earthquakes (the fault that runs through Nebraska hasn't been disastrously active--yet). Coverage for these perils usually don’t cost too much to cover, and might keep you from having a claim denied some day.

A note about flood insurance:

Covering your home for the peril of flooding is a broader coverage than you might think. It doesn't have to be a river, pond, or lake overfilling to cause a flood. Public sewers backing up, water tables rising and causing seepage through your walls, and more are covered by a flood policy—and would otherwise be excluded.

Extras:

  • You can find a seismic risk map HERE and other earthquake information. 
    • As a FYI, a 2.9 magnitude earthquake just happened back on January 5th, 2014 from south Lincoln down to Manhattan, Kansas (100 miles west of Kansas City).
    • You can find more flood information HERE.