Home > Insurance Blog > Volcanic eruption coverage for homeowners – shifting ground part 5
Volcanoes are one of the most dazzling features of landscapes on Earth. In fact, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park attracts over two million tourists each year. Though magnificent in nature, volcanoes pose real risks to people and property. The below map identifies the volcanoes that represent the most significant threat. Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington have the eighteen highest risk volcanoes. Eight other US states also face a lower level of volcano risk. In this article, we detail the risks associated with volcanoes as well as the insurance options for property owners in areas with volcano risk.
A volcano eruption poses many different risks to nearby people and property. The below graphic helps identify many of these exposures. Some of these risks are common such as earthquakes and landslides. Other risks on this graphic are less common. Below is an explanation of the less common risks from volcanic eruptions.
A typical homeowners insurance policy provides some level of protection from damage caused by a volcanic eruption. Coverage usually exists if the damage results from a volcanic blast, airborne shockwaves, ash, dust, or lava flow. However, if the damage results from a successive earthquake or other related earth movements, then the policy does not provide coverage. Therefore, it could be important for some homeowners in these high-risk areas to purchase a separate earthquake policy, which helps fill the gaps that exist for homeowners in volcano-prone states.
On December 21, 2020, Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano erupted. While the eruption and its impact continue to evolve, this is significant because in 2018 the same volcano erupted causing major damage. Below is a photo from the 2018 eruption. This eruption damaged over 700 homes and led to thousands of evacuations. Sedgwick’s temporary housing division was able to provide temporary housing in Hawaii to families affected by this eruption. This eruption occurred over a three-month period, causing extensive displacement of local residents in need to temporary housing. Only time will tell the length and severity of the current active eruption. But yes, volcanoes most certainly still erupt.
Volcanoes still represent a real risk for some homeowners. Understanding the potential exposures as well as the homeowners insurance exclusions enable property owners to make wise decisions about their insurance. No one wants to end up evacuating and being forced into temporary housing without insurance to help.
Filed Under: Homeownership, Weather Catastrophe | Tagged With: home insurance coverage, volcanic eruption