We have been warning of obscure perils for years, more after the jump.
As lava from the Kilauea volcano has devoured at least 26 homes in Hawaii, residents in at-risk zones are wondering if they’re covered for the damage. They may not be.
While you can get insurance for most natural disasters, including floods and earthquakes, specific insurance for volcanic or lava damage is exceptionally rare. So it’s really going to come down to their homeowner’s policy and their underwriter.
“As far as earthquake coverage or specifically named like a volcanic eruption, no most people would not have that kind of coverage,” Marc Dixon, an Allstate insurance agent who services the Big Island, tells Hawaii News Now.
As odd as it might sound, the best case scenario of a worst case situation for affected homeowners is for the lava to burn the house down. That could trigger the fire coverage of a normal home owner’s policy.
Because residents of the Big Island chose to move to a place that has an active volcano, insurers take the stance that they knew the risks. But there are a couple of straws of hope for those people to grasp.
First, insurance companies have had their share of public relations hits over the past year, particularly after last year’s hurricanes. The number of houses destroyed by lava so far is fairly low. Covering the losses, even if they had a loophole to avoid doing so could earn the industry some goodwill with the general public. That said, though, 1,700 people have had to flee their homes so far and the number of destroyed homes could go up significantly before the crisis is over.There are a couple videos embedded in the story, and speaking of embedded, via WXChasing:
There’s also the chance of help from the federal or state government, which could declare an emergency, making homeowners eligible for a low-interest loan from FEMA....MORE
Our most recent mention of the need for risk management, from last September's "And In Other Volcano News: More than 120,000 flee Bali’s Mt Agung volcano":Time Lapse of giant #lava flow consuming car, telephone pole falling— WXChasing (@bclemms) May 7, 2018
Location: Leilani Estates, Hi #LeilaniEstates #Leilani #Hawaii #volcano pic.twitter.com/7Td2ecfV62
Why yes stranger.
The state of Washington wants everyone to know about "Volcano coverage for your home and auto"
The major property/casualty insurer State Farm has a page devoted to "How Volcano Damage is Covered on Your Insurance"
Here's a testimonial:
Peter: "No, no, no. I read about this in a book once."
Brian: "You sure it was a book? You sure it wasn't nothing?"
Salesman: "How about I let you in on something every home owner needs: VOLCANO INSURANCE!
Now, I have an uncle that knows a lot about volcanos, and he says a volcano is coming THIS WAY."
Peter: "But we've never had any trouble with volcanos."
Salesman: "Well don't you think we're due for one?"
Peter (thinking): Touche, salesman. I too have an uncle.
Peter: Come in.