Each year across the United States, weather-related disasters result in loss of life and cause billions of dollars in property damage. Some events can be predicted, such as hurricanes, allowing you time to prepare your family and home, while other weather-related events evolve rapidly and need a quick response.
Thunderstorms are the most common weather event in the country, and by definition always include lightning. Approximately 10,000 thunderstorms occur annually, making the risk of damage from lightning quite high.
Lightning is one of the most common unpredictable weather risks. In 2022, lightning strikes resulted in more than 62,000 claims to homeowner policies and almost $1 billion in insured claim payouts. In areas where lightning strikes are frequent, installation of lightning protection systems may reduce homeowner losses. There are also tools and activities you can use to better protect your home and electronics in the event of a lightning strike. Learn more about lightning safety.
Thunderstorms can also escalate into severe convective storms, which can produce tornadoes, hail, and wind speeds in excess of 50miles per hour. Many severe storms include heavy downpours and can result in flooding.
Each year, at least thirty-eight states are at risk for wildfires. If you live in an area where drought is common and/or near a mountain, foothill or grassland area, risk mitigation and building for resilience is important. Wildfires need fuel to spread, such as foliage or wood-plastic materials. Our partners at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) share expertise on non-combustible siding and fireproofing a deck.
Standard homeowners insurance covers damage from wildfires for residences, and a business owners policy (BOP) covers fires to office structures, equipment, and inventory.
Hurricanes pose wind and water risks to your home and could present a situation where you need to evacuate. Preparing an evacuation plan can help you and your family escape harm quickly and safely. Here is a brief video about preparing a pack and go kit. If you live in an area of the country that is susceptible to hurricanes, you should begin preparing well in advance of the watches and warnings reported by the National Weather Service.
Earthquakes are not covered by homeowners, renters, or business insurance policies, but a standard policy will cover losses if there is a fire as a result of an earthquake. Vehicle damage following an earthquake is covered by optional comprehensive auto coverage.
Unlike hurricanes or tornadoes, there is no advanced warning systems for earthquakes, and they can happen anywhere. Understanding the risks as well as how to prepare your family and home are important in minimizing damage.
Whether there are warnings, or it is a sudden event, it is always important to prepare for possible weather events. One of the best ways to do so is to make sure that you have appropriate coverage for your home. Homeowners insurance will help you and your family be more resilient in the face of weather risks. This article can teach you how to create an inventory of your home’s belongings, which will make it easier if you need to file a claim.