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Here's what insurance covers after flooding, earthquakes and a ‘Hurriquake'  

When we have something as crazy as a tropical storm and earthquake, dubbed “Hurriquake”, it sure makes you wonder, am I covered for this?   

Janet Ruiz from the non-profit group, Insurance Information Institute, says a lot of customers will be dealing with wind and storm damage – including fallen trees on your property    

“On a homeowner’s policy, you’re covered for wind. If it blows shingles off or a hole in your roof or breaks your window and water comes in, then that rain from above or damage from above would be covered under your typical homeowners insurance policy,” Ruiz said. “On your homeowner’s insurance, all those type of damages are a covered peril loss that you can put in an insurance claim for minus your deductible.”

She says flooding and mudflows like what was seen Sunday in San Bernardino County create a different scenario.    

“So flooding is not a covered loss on a homeowner’s insurance, you have to have separate flood insurance policy. Most people have it through the National Flood Insurance Program. But there are also private insurers who sell flood insurance that would cover any water coming from the ground up and mud flow that also comes with mud flow and debris that comes with heavy rains, like what we’ve been seeing in Southern California over the weekend,” Ruiz explained.   

There is also a process if your car got the brunt of the damage during the storm.    

“So the auto policy, if you have comprehensive coverage subject to your deductible, will pay for flood. It’ll pay for a tree falling on your car, it’ll pay for wildfire damage. So comprehensive on your automobile will pay for all those type of losses. And about 80% of people have comprehensive, especially if you have a newer car or you have a car loan,” Ruiz said.   

There were no reports of major damage from Sunday’s earthquake, but you may have some minor issues from the shaking.   

Ruiz says about 13% of California homeowners have earthquake insurance, despite the fact that most Californians live within 30 miles of an active fault.    

“To protect your home from earthquake on the insurance side, you would have to have a separate policy. It’s not included in your homeowners insurance,” she said.  

“But there are things you can do to protect your home and that is to strengthen your foundation. There’s a great website by the California Earthquake Authority called Strengthen Your Home and it shows you exactly how to do that. It’s not really expensive and there’s even grant programs to help you do those changes and strengthening to your foundation,” Ruiz added.      

As for renters, she says you can protect your belongings by having renter’s insurance and it likely covers additional living expenses if you are displaced.   

Renters also need separate flood and earthquake insurance.   

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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