Homeowners insurance covers some natural disasters, but you need to purchase separate policies if you want to be covered for floods and earthquakes.

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What natural disasters are covered by home insurance?

There is no single insurance policy called natural disaster insurance, but home insurance policies can cover several types of natural disasters. The natural disasters covered by your home insurance depend on the type of policy you have. The most common homeowners insurance policy is called an HO-3, which includes protection from fires, hail, volcanic eruptions and some damage from tornadoes and hurricanes.

What natural disasters are not covered by home insurance?

Home insurance does not cover some natural disasters, but you may be able to buy separate policies for the ones that aren't covered. A standard home insurance policy doesn't cover the following natural disasters:

  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Mudslides or landslides

How do insurance companies cover natural disasters?

Insurance companies do not categorize damage by the type of natural disaster, but by the peril. A peril is a hazard or event that can cause damage. For example, wind damage and flooding are both perils that can be caused by a hurricane. You may be able to add an endorsement that broadens the perils your policy covers.

Homeowners insurance typically covers wind damage, but not flooding, making wind a covered peril and flooding an excluded peril. That means your insurance doesn't cover every type of damage a hurricane can cause, but only some of the perils.

The reference table below shows the most popular home insurance policy types and the perils they cover.

Peril HO-1 HO-2 HO-3 HO-5 HO-6 HO-7 HO-8
Hail and windstorm
Frozen piping x x
Flood x x x x x x x
Earthquake x x x x x x x
Landslide and mudslide x x x x x x x

Most homeowners insurance policies cover damage from wind, hail, fire and lightning. Although many policies provide this coverage, they differ in the level of coverage. For instance, the HO-3 and HO-5 both protect your belongings from fire, but the HO-3 is an actual cash value policy, while the HO-5 is a replacement cost policy for your belongings.

It's important to note that homeowners insurance policies almost never cover floods or earthquakes. Many types of natural disasters can cause flooding. But because flooding is not a covered peril, your home insurance may not fully cover damage caused by some natural disasters.

States with the most natural disasters

Image of natural disasters that affect homeowners

Natural disasters are becoming more common and costlier, with the number of disasters topping $1 billion in damage more than doubling in the last 20 years.

Our team of analysts looked at natural disasters nationwide going back to 1984 and found that the number of billion-dollar disasters has increased by 157% in the last two decades.

Severe storms are by far the most common type of natural disaster. Over the last 20 years, there have been 144 billion-dollar natural disasters caused by severe storms. That’s a 380% increase from the previous 20 years. Cyclones (hurricanes), floods and drought are the next most common natural disasters.

Natural disasters in the U.S.
Disaster type Billion-dollar disasters, 1984-2003 Billion-dollar disasters, 2004-2023 % change over 40-year period
Drought 12 16 33%
Flood 12 25 108%
Freeze 4 3 -25%
Severe storm 30 144 380%
Tropical cyclone 21 37 76%
Wildfire 7 14 100%
Winter storm 11 10 -9%
All disasters 97 249 157%
Source: National Centers for Environmental Information

Texas has faced more major natural disasters than any other state. Over the last 40 years, Texas has had 155 natural disasters — and 121 of them have occurred in the last 20 years. Hawaii has had the fewest billion-dollar natural disasters, just one such cyclone since 1984.

Natural Disasters by State, 1983-2023
State Total number of events Estimated damages
Texas 155 $200B-$340B
Georgia 108 $20B-$50B
Illinois 107 $20B-$50B
North Carolina 104 $50B-$100B
Missouri 100 $20B-$50B
Oklahoma 99 $20B-$50B
Alabama 98 $20B-$50B
Tennessee 98 $20B-$50B
Virginia 98 $10B-$20B
Mississippi 93 $50B-$100B
Pennsylvania 93 $20B-$50B
Ohio 86 $20B-$50B
South Carolina 86 $20B-$50B
Indiana 85 $20B-$50B
Kansas 85 $20B-$50B
Louisiana 84 $200B-$270B
Arkansas 81 $10B-$20B
New York 79 $50B-$100B
Kentucky 77 $10B-$20B
Florida 73 $200B-$250B
Massachusetts 71 $5B-$10B
Iowa 70 $50B-$100B
Colorado 65 $20B-$50B
New Jersey 60 $50B-$100B
Nebraska 54 $20B-$50B
Wisconsin 51 $10B-$20B
Minnesota 49 $20B-$50B
Michigan 47 $5B-$10B
California 45 $100B-$200B
West Virginia 41 $5B-$10B
Connecticut 39 $5B-$10B
Oregon 37 $10B-$20B
Maine 36 $1B-$2B
New Mexico 35 $5B-$10B
Montana 31 $10B-$20B
Washington 31 $5B-$10B
Arizona 30 $5B-$10B
Delaware 30 $2B-$5B
South Dakota 30 $10B-$20B
Idaho 29 $5B-$10B
Rhode Island 29 $2B-$5B
Wyoming 28 $2B-$5B
Nevada 27 $2B-$5B
Utah 23 $2B-$5B
North Dakota 20 $20B-$50B
New Hampshire 18 $1B-$2B
Maryland 16 $10B-$20B
Vermont 16 $2B-$5B
Alaska 8 $2B-$5B
Hawaii 1 $5B-$10B
Source: National Centers for Environmental Information

Many states have seen staggering increases in major natural disasters over the last 20 years. Fifteen states have experienced a 200% or more increase in natural disasters. Wisconsin has seen the largest increase in billion-dollar disasters over the last 20 years. The state had nine major disasters between 1984 and 2003, and 42 major disasters between 2004 and 2023, a 367% increase.

States with the Largest Increase in Natural Disasters
State Number of natural disasters, 1984-2003 Number of natural disasters, 2004-2023 % change
Wisconsin 9 42 367%
Wyoming 5 23 360%
Oklahoma 19 80 321%
Arizona 6 24 300%
Kansas 17 68 300%
Missouri 21 79 276%
Iowa 15 55 267%
Texas 34 121 256%
Nebraska 12 42 250%
New Mexico 8 27 238%
Colorado 15 50 233%
Illinois 25 82 228%
Indiana 21 64 205%
Alaska 2 6 200%
Georgia 27 81 200%
Michigan 12 35 192%
Washington 8 23 188%
Arkansas 21 60 186%
Nevada 7 20 186%
Kentucky 20 57 185%
Utah 6 17 183%
Tennessee 26 72 177%
Idaho 8 21 163%
Virginia 28 70 150%
Montana 9 22 144%
Source: National Centers for Environmental Information

Earthquake insurance

Home insurance doesn't cover damage from earthquakes, but you can purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy to protect yourself and your home from this disaster.

We recommend purchasing earthquake insurance if you live in an area prone to earthquakes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, California and Alaska experience the most earthquakes that cause damage in the U.S.

You can purchase earthquake insurance from home insurance providers. If you live in California, earthquake insurance is typically issued by the California Earthquake Authority, but you can still purchase it directly from insurance companies.

Flood insurance

A standard home insurance policy won't cover flood insurance, but it can be purchased separately. Most flood insurance policies are issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Flood insurance is required by the federal government if you live in a designated high-risk area and have a federally-backed mortgage.

The average cost of flood insurance is around $874 a year for an NFIP policy, but rates vary depending on where you live. Because premiums are set by the government, the price does not vary among companies. Some people find cheaper coverage through a private company, but private options are more limited. Private flood insurance policies also account for a very small percentage of all flood insurance policies, but they are slowly becoming more popular.

Landslides and mudslides

To protect your home against landslides and mudslides, you need a difference in conditions policy (DIC). Although earthquakes can trigger landslides and mudslides, earthquake insurance will not cover either of them.

Tornado insurance

Tornadoes can be devastating, as high winds and flying debris may compromise your home's structure. There were 1,240 tornadoes in the U.S. in 2022, according to the National Weather Service. Although tornadoes are more common in some states than others, they should be a concern for all homeowners.

Because wind is a covered peril in most homeowners insurance policies, you'll typically have coverage for the damage tornadoes cause. We recommend taking a few measures to help lower your risk of experiencing severe tornado damage, including:

  • Reinforce your roof.
  • Install storm shutters.
  • Tie down objects and smaller buildings on your property.
  • Make an emergency tornado plan with your household.

States with the most tornadoes

Tornadoes can happen in almost every state, but most tornadoes occur in the Midwest and Southeast.

State Number of tornadoes
Mississippi 184
Texas 160
Alabama 117
Minnesota 77
Florida 73
Kansas 68
Louisiana 61
Arkansas 56
Georgia 56
Iowa 53
Source: National Weather Service


Although there isn't one single insurance policy that covers damage due to a hurricane, you can get homeowners insurance, flood insurance and, in some states, windstorm insurance to protect your home against hurricanes. In certain states like Texas and Florida, wind coverage is not always included in homeowners insurance policies. In some areas, insurers may sell windstorm insurance separately from a standard home insurance policy.

States that have a high rate of hurricanes might have a hurricane deductible. A hurricane deductible is the amount you pay when you file a claim before your insurer covers the remainder, up to your policy limits. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have hurricane deductibles.

Wildfires and fire insurance

Standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage from wildfires, but some insurers won't write policies in high-risk areas, occasionally making it difficult for homeowners to get protection from this natural disaster. If you're having trouble getting home insurance, you may be able to get wildfire coverage from your state's Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan. However, FAIR Plan insurance policies don't provide extensive coverage and may cost more than a standard home insurance policy.

Wildfires aren't the only way fires can start in your home. A stray spark from a fireplace or electrical outlet can also start a house fire. Luckily, homeowners insurance typically covers fires of all types, as long as they are not the result of neglect. Your dwelling and personal property are covered in the event of a fire under a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Volcanoes and tsunamis

Volcanoes and tsunamis are less common natural disasters, but they can cause a lot of damage. A standard homeowners insurance policy usually covers volcanic eruptions, but it doesn't cover damage from a tsunami. However, if you have flood insurance, it can cover flood damage due to a tsunami.


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