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Hazard insurance: Understanding the basics

Hazard insurance and homeowners insurance are often mistaken for the same thing due to the similarities they share. While standard homeowners insurance policies include hazard coverage, standalone hazard insurance serves a different purpose.

How do you know if you need hazard insurance? Here is a guide to help you understand the basics:

Hazard insurance vs. homeowners insurance

Hazard insurance can protect you financially from damage caused by hazards like fire, lighting, wind and other natural events. While homeowners insurance includes protection from a broad range of hazards, certain specific events are excluded.

In certain areas where specific hazards like tornadoes or earthquakes are common, you may be required to get a separate hazard insurance policy. This combined with your regular homeowners insurance coverage means you’re prepared for anything.

Another key point of comparison of what these two types of insurance will pay to replace. Hazard insurance typically refers to coverage for the structure of your home, including the roof and foundation. Homeowners insurance, however, includes coverage for your personal belongings and furnishings.

How to know if you need hazard insurance

Whether you should have additional hazard insurance largely depends on where you live. In regions prone to flooding, for example, your mortgage lender might require you to get a flood insurance policy before approving you for a loan.

Even if not required, having hazard insurance coverage can give you peace of mind. If you have an additional hazard policy, you’ll know you have financial coverage if your home and belongings are damaged in an extreme weather event.

By comparing the hazard insurance cost with the potential cost of replacement and repairs, you can determine whether it makes sense to add it into your budget. Consult your insurance company to find out what options you have and whether a hazard insurance policy is right for you.

 

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