Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted May 3rd, 2018, and has been oozing molten lava ever since.
This volcanic eruption was caused by a crater on Kilauea which collapsed, sending lava back down into the earth, only to have it push it’s way back to the surface in at least 12 different fissures in and around Leilani Estates, Hawaii. Some of these fissures only oozed lava, while others spewed at least 330 feet into the air, causing “active volcanic fountaining.”
The eruption has destroyed 26 homes and 9 structures at the writing of this post. Officials say more eruptions are likely, but they do not know how big it is, or how long it will last. A mandatory evacuation order has been issued, and 1,700 people have had to leave their homes.
Will renters insurance cover the erupting of a volcano like Kilauea? Many people are aware of a few of the named perils that their renters insurance covers, such as fire. But is the eruption of the Kilauea volcano something that would be covered?
Is Kilauea Volcano Erupting Covered By My Renters Or Homeowners Insurance Policy?
Depending on the specifics of your policy, certain types of damages may be covered. If the flow or spew of lava starts a fire, which then catches your house on fire, there may be coverage under the peril of fire on your renters or homeowners policy.
Your renters or homeowners insurance policy protects you in several ways. If an eruption results in damage to your personal property, the damage is likely to be severe. Your policy would pay the cost to replace your personal property that was lost to the volcanic eruption or lava flow. This also includes coverage for explosions, and smoke damage.
In addition, you’ll find coverage for debris removal. Specifically, this applies to ash, dust, or particles from a volcanic eruption that have caused a direct loss to covered property in a building.
A volcanic eruption is a peril that typically only applies to personal property. If you cause a fire, your liability coverage responds to other people who suffer a loss as a result. But no person can be held liable for a volcanic eruption.
Some Other Factors To Consider
The reason that your renters policy is called a “broad form” is that it protects against a number of different types of losses. The policies are standardized to cover you from the most likely and most devastating events.
In the same way that you can’t remove certain coverages from your policy, the perils listed on your policy (such as volcanic eruption) also cannot be altered. You can add different types of coverage with endorsements, but the base policy is unchangeable.
Fortunately, renters insurance is quite affordable. Policies generally cost about fifteen dollars a month and even less in some areas.
Even if you don’t directly suffer damage from a volcano, you may still be entitled to use the loss of use coverage on your policy. The key is that first, nearby homes or infrastructure must suffer a loss that puts your own home at risk. Second, you must be ordered by a civil authority to evacuate as a result. Since the Kilauea volcano has caused an evacuation order to be issued, it’s likely you would have coverage on your policy for your additional living expenses. For more information, click the link to read our guide on the peril of volcanic eruption.
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