Hurricane Sandy is a stark reminder that everyone should review their insurance policies from time to time to make sure they are protected from natural disasters. Although a hurricane is one of the few natural disasters we don’t have to worry about very much in California, there are, sadly, many states that are plagued with seasonal hurricanes. A hurricane is no joke as it is amongst the most destructive weather phenomena in existence. It can destroy homes with its powerful winds and can cause devastating floods that can ruin properties and destroy livelihoods of many families. Just look at the videos coming out of New Jersey and New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
One common misconception about hurricane insurance is that it includes flood insurance. To the contrary, the two are very different insurance entities and you may need to purchase both insurances to become fully protected. Hurricane insurance is often limited to wind damages and does not include flooding even when the obvious cause is the hurricane.
In California, we just have to worry about forest fires, mud slides, droughts and earthquakes. After the Northridge earthquake in 1994, the California legislature passed a statue requiring all insurance companies to offer their policy holders earthquake insurance on a home at least every two years. They typically offer a “mini” policy and a “full coverage” policy. You should speak to you property insurance agent to determine what is right for you. If you live in a flood zone or an area prone to mudslides, it is a good idea to review that coverage as well.