What is hazard insurance?
Hazard insurance generally refers to coverage for the structure of your home only. Other coverages will cover different kinds of damage within your homeowners insurance policy. Hazard insurance doesn’t generally refer to the coverage that protects you from injuries incurred by you or your guests following an accident. Such cases may be covered by liability coverage.
The reason 'hazard insurance' is a common term is actually because of lenders. Your mortgage loan provider may require hazard insurance at a minimum before they will issue you a loan because that is the only portion of the homeowners insurance policy directly related to the home structure itself. This may create the misconception that hazard coverage can be purchased separately from homeowners insurance, which is inaccurate. If your lender has specified that you need hazard or dwelling coverage, buying a homeowners policy will generally satisfy their requirements.
Hazard Insurance vs. Homeowners insurance
Hazard insurance can be bundled as a part of your homeowners insurance for a more comprehensive coverage plan. Where homeowners insurance most commonly covers home, personal property, and liability damages, hazard insurance specifically covers damage to the home’s structure.
What does hazard insurance cover?
Hazard insurance may cover "hazards" such as:
- If a fire damages your home, hazard insurance should cover it. If the damage is bad enough for you to vacate your home, you’ll also need loss of use coverage to pay for lodgings and other associated costs.
- People tend to associate hail-related damage with vehicles, but it can damage homes too. If it damages your house, hazard insurance should cover it.
- You might think more about water damage when it comes to storms, but lightning strikes can cause plenty of damage too. Fortunately, damage caused by lightning is usually covered by hazard insurance.
- Damage can find your home in a multitude of ways. Many of these are covered by hazard insurance, but others require separate policies.
- If your home is damaged by vandalism, hazard insurance may cover the costs.
- Your hazard insurance may cover damages to your home’s structure caused by fallen trees.
Vehicles that run into your home
- A vehicle running into your home can cause severe structural damage. However, hazard insurance may cover the costs of repairing it.
- Explosions, usually from gas leaks, can cause massive structural damage to homes. Fortunately, damage resulting from an explosion is usually covered by hazard insurance.
What doesn't hazard insurance cover?
One thing to keep in mind is that hazard insurance only protects the structure of your home. Thus, in the case of natural disasters, hazard insurance will only cover damage to the home’s structure, and homeowners should prepare accordingly.
Since hazard insurance typically doesn’t cover damage from flooding, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home. Similarly, homeowners in areas that commonly experience earthquakes should take caution with earthquake insurance in addition to hazard insurance.
How much is hazard insurance
How much you pay for homeowners insurance depends on a variety of factors, including the value of your home, your policy limits, and your deductible amount. Learn more about how home insurance costs are calculated.
For maximum protection against the unexpected, a reliable homeowners insurance policy is the way to go. With Nationwide's customizable policies, you can add personal umbrella insurance to extend your policy's bodily injury and personal damage liability limits. In addition, you can speak to an agent about protecting your home against flood damage with flood insurance.
Do you need hazard insurance?
A better question might be, "do you own a home?" If you do, then yes, you need hazard insurance! Of course, no one plans to have a gas explosion or a fallen tree taking out a chunk of their home, but the reality is that these things happen all the time. And when they do, every homeowner should be prepared.