Real Estate

What Renters and Homeowners Should Know About Natural Disasters

What Renters and Homeowners Should Know About Natural Disasters

Be it a fire or an earthquake, regardless of whether you rent or own, you and your family could be displaced by a natural calamity at any time. One huge thing after this is recovering from the catastrophe. However, once the smoke has cleared and the waters have receded, one must ensure that ample refuge and repairing of damaged property takes precedence.

Insurance will play a major role in putting the pieces back together and rebuilding, so when it comes to floods, fires, and earthquakes, know what’s covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and keep your policy information in your phone, wallet, or online so you can call your insurer without having to leave your home in the event of a natural disaster.

Property Damage in the United States

Contingent on your specific regions, your area is generally more prone to different types of bad weather. For instance, earthquakes and wildfires are common in California and the Southwest, whereas hurricanes and tornadoes are common in Florida and the South. Knowing which disasters are most prevalent in your area will assist you in planning and gathering supplies to ensure the safety of your property.

Flood Preparations First Steps

Flooding would be most likely to occur close to the river flood zone or a low-lying coastal area, as these are the most vulnerable areas; nevertheless, flooding can also occur in strange places. A flood disaster can strike anyone, regardless of whether they reside near a water source or in a flood-prone area. If there is a lot of rain in your location and it doesn’t flow through the proper channel, you would probably wind up in a flood.

Therefore, verify your flood hazard by consulting a regional environmental organization. A feature on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website enables users to input their location and start receiving flood vulnerability details.

As flooding approaches, you can sometimes stop that happening or the substantial damage to your home, if you plan ahead of time and budget for repairs, you can save thousands of dollars in the event of a flood.

The most common natural deflection measures are sandbags. In addition, new sandbag technology based on polyacrylate polymers removes the need for vast amounts of sand while also saving space. Creating a sandbag barrier is sometimes the only thing a tenant can do to prevent floodwaters out of their home.

Homeowners on the other hand now have more alternatives for flood-proofing their homes. Water can be diverted from your home through floodways placed into your landscape design or yard. Terracing, which is commonly used to optimize garden areas, also has the advantage of being environmentally friendly.

Lastly, having a lot of greenery surrounding your house will assist the soil to retain water. Big trees and grasses can assist in preventing substantial volumes of water from accumulating and causing damage to your home.

Additional flood mitigation measures that a proprietor or renter should take includes:

  • Taking the furnace, water heater, and electronic board to a higher level.
  • Placing control valves in the drains to prevent water from backing up.
  • If there is no basement, watertight glue should be applied to basement wall junctions and first-floor joints.
  • Before flooding occurs, disconnect power at the primary switch.

Obtaining Flood Insurance

Flooding caused by adverse weather is not covered by renter’s insurance or ordinary homeowners insurance. Flood insurance is available to homeowners through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, which has dollar restrictions.

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Some non-government insurance companies charge an extra fee for “excess” flood insurance that goes much further than the NFIP’s coverage. Flood insurance is not required if you reside in a flood zone, and the cost differs depending on the value of your home and your risk of flooding.

Damages from Firefighting

Extreme weather events and wildfires are particularly famous for their magnitude and velocity, destroying hundreds of hectares and houses in a couple of days. The best part is that most landlords and renter’s insurance plans cover the risk of fire of this nature and the harsh reality is that homes near a canyon or other high-risk factors may drastically increase your insurance premiums and may even preclude you from acquiring insurance with certain companies.

In addition, a solo fire policy from an insurer may be the best solution for these households. As a last alternative, homeowners in California who are unable to receive fire insurance through a conventional carrier owing to geographical location can acquire fire insurance via FAIR Plan, a government-sponsored organization.

Fire insurance is less expensive and easier to purchase for renters than it is for homeowners, similar to flood insurance. This is because renters are not liable for repairing the construction of a home. However, renters may be forced to flee their homes in the aftermath of a wildfire, either due to displacement or rental unit damage.

As a tenant, you may potentially suffer a total loss or significant damage to your personal property. Therefore, even if your landlord has a homeowner’s insurance policy, you should get renter’s insurance. A homeowner’s insurance is unlikely to cover your prized possessions or household expenses, and it may not cover enough of the costs you’ll face if you have to vacate your rental following a fire.

As a tenant or landlord, keeping stock of your property and valuables is the first step in securing yourself in the wake of a wildfire. To capture high-end belongings, homeowners and tenants should walk outside and inside of the home using a recording device.

Also, if high-priced structural elements, fixtures, and fittings, or gadgets are destroyed in a wildfire, this proof can be utilized in the claims procedure to substantiate their presence. Additionally, don’t throw anything away that has been damaged or destroyed until the claims process is completed.

Approaching Unstable Terrain

When it comes to property damage, high-intensity earthquakes are difficult to predict and traumatic and unfortunately, homeowners’ and renter’s insurance packages do not entail earthquake coverage.

The majority of earthquake insurance in California is supplied by the California Earthquake Authority, or CEA, which is accessible to both homeowners and renters. A CEA policy’s goal is to help you get back into your home after an earthquake, but it won’t cover all of your liabilities.

As an add-on or decentralized policy, earthquake insurance may usually be purchased from your existing homeowners or renter’s insurance company.

Earthquake insurance often covers repairs to your home and associated infrastructure, as well as personal possessions and the cost of lodging or rental for a sufficient amount of time while your property is being repaired. Earthquake insurance usually has a high deductible and a high premium.

The Author

Ajisebutu Doyinsola

Doyinsola Ajisebutu is a journalist and prolific writer who takes a special interest in Finance, Insurance, and the Tech world.