Lava Burns Down a Home in Hawaii. Top Insurance Lawyer Discusses Homeowners Insurance Policies and Protecting Your Property

A homeowner's policy will cover fire damage from a volcanic eruption, the policy may not cover water, ash, or earthquake damage, says Darras.

Ontario, CA, November 21, 2014

The recent Mount Kilauea eruption in Hawaii claimed its first home and residents urged to evacuate as the path of the lava remains unpredictable. The slow-moving lava took 45 minutes to claim a one-story home in the community of Pahoa. Read More

Since volcanoes are rare in most populated areas of the United States, many homeowners may wonder if they are covered for natural disaster damage.Homeowners in states like Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska should know the answer since they are at most risk of a volcanic eruption. (Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover Many Types of Damage, Geology.com, August 2, 2012)

"Besides lava flow, most standard homeowners, renters and business insurance policies provide coverage for property loss caused by volcanic eruption when it is the result of a volcanic blast, airborne shock waves, ash or dust. Fire or explosion resulting from volcanic eruption is also covered. Homes and businesses that have been looted after evacuation, are covered for property damage, vandalism or theft," (Hawaii Homeowners, Renters and Business Owners Have Coverage for Lava Flow Damage, Says I.I.I.: Insurance Information Institute, October 30, 2014).

"Thankfully, most homeowner's insurance policies will cover damage from volcanic eruptions," explains Frank N. Darras, America's top insurance lawyer. "However, don't assume that everything is covered. Read through your entire policy so you will know what is excluded and how to act accordingly. You may need to purchase separate policies for earthquake and flood damage depending on how your policy provides coverage for natural disasters."

Insurance policies may not be anyone's desired reading, but policyholders who do not read theirs may be caught unaware when their house is damaged by certain natural hazards. The insurance company will likely deny their claim immediately, because those perils are not covered under the purchased policy. Homeowners can prepare by purchasing specific insurance policies to cover perils such as floods or earthquakes, says Darras.

While a homeowner's policy will cover fire damage from a volcanic eruption, the policy may not cover water, ash, or earthquake damage. These types of damages will require the homeowner to have --other insurance policies to provide the additional coverage. More

"Your insurance agent will be able to give you a more in depth summary of what will be covered in the event of a natural disaster. This could be a volcanic eruption, a hurricane or even a mudslide. Your agent can help you assess what type of damage could potentially occur based on where you live. Therefore, you can prepare your policies and also your home for whatever life may throw at you. Know what the geologic risks are where you live and buy your insurance policies accordingly," says Darras.