Which Natural Disasters Does Homeowners Insurance Cover in Nevada?

Nevada has a dry climate, and the most common natural disasters in the state are natural opposites: fires and floods.
Written by Payton Ternus
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
Common natural disasters in
include fires, floods, heatwaves, severe storms, and extreme winter weather. Homeowners insurance should cover damage from fires, storms, and winter weather, but you’ll need additional coverage for floods and earthquakes.
Misconceptions about insurance coverages are unfortunately common. The Insurance Information Institute (III) conducted a study in 2016 and found 28% of Americans falsely believe flood damage caused by a hurricane or storm would be covered by a basic home insurance policy, and 29% incorrectly think earthquakes will be covered. If one of these disasters strikes, homeowners can get stuck with the entire repair bill themselves.
Insurance is complicated enough, but things get more complex when you get down to the state level. Which natural disasters happen most often in Nevada—and will your home insurance cover the damages? 
In this article,
car and homeowners insurance
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goes over what you need to know about homeowners insurance and natural disasters in the Silver State. 
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What is homeowners insurance—and what does it cover?

Homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for damages to your home and your personal property, in addition to
liability coverage
, loss of use coverage, and medical payments coverage for anyone injured while visiting your property. Levels of coverage and covered perils will vary from policy to policy.

Levels of homeowners insurance coverage

HO-1: This is the most basic policy in regards to homeowners insurance, and will only cover the primary dwelling. Personal belongings, liability, and loss of use are not covered under an HO-1. A limited number of named perils, typically including fire, lightning, and hail, are covered by these policies.
HO-2: This is another type of named perils policy. Damage to your home and personal property caused by named perils will be covered.
HO-3: An
HO-3 policy
is the most common kind of homeowners policy. They cover the main dwelling, detached structures (sheds, greenhouses, fences, etc.), personal belongings, liability, loss of use, and medical payments. 
HO-3 policies are open perils policy, also known as all-risk coverage. All perils are covered,  except those specifically listed as exclusions. However, the personal property coverage will only cover named perils. 
HO-5: Want the gold standard of homeowners insurance? You’re looking for an HO-5 policy, which will cover your home and personal property under an open perils policy. Just be warned that you’ll pay high rates for this high quality coverage.
It can be difficult to process all of this information, so here is a tool to break it down for you.
Policy type
What’s covered
Open perils?
Main dwelling only
Named perils only
Main dwelling, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments
Named perils only
Main dwelling, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments
Main dwelling- open perils, personal property - listed perils only
Main dwelling, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments

What perils are covered by homeowners insurance?

Understanding which perils are named in your policy is important if you have an HO-1, HO-2, or HO-3 homeowners insurance policy. You will have to read the fine print in order to find the exact coverage included within your policy, but you can generally expect the following
16 named perils
to be covered: 
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles 
  • Damage from electrical current (typically not covered by HO-1 policies)
  • Explosion
  • Falling objects (typically not covered by HO-1 policies)
  • Fire and lightning
  • Frozen pipes (typically not covered by HO-1 policies)
  • Hail and windstorms
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Smoke
  • Theft or malicious mischief
  • Vandalism 
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Water heater cracking (typically not covered by HO-1 policies)
  • Water overflow or discharge from plumbing (typically not covered by HO-1 policies)
  • Weight of snow, ice, or sleet (typically not covered by HO-1 policies)
Make note of the perils that aren’t included on that list. Many homeowners don’t realize that their homeowners insurance doesn’t cover floods and earthquakes—these are two of the most common natural disasters in the U.S., so this is a big problem.
Most homeowners insurance policies will not cover all possible natural disasters, so it’s important to understand the exact coverages provided by your policy—especially in a state with a higher risk level like Nevada. 
Key Takeaway The coverage in your homeowners insurance policy will depend on the kind of policy you have and the perils named in it.

Does home insurance cover natural disasters in Nevada? 

Nevada’s dry climate makes it prone to natural disasters. The two most common disasters occurring in the states are complete opposites of each other: wildfires and floods. Recent years have seen extremely dry conditions, leaving the Silver State vulnerable to wildfires during warm weather and flash flooding in the colder months.
Now let’s look at the most frequently-occurring natural disasters in Nevada and see what your homeowners insurance will cover—and what it won’t.


Nevada is extremely vulnerable to wildfires due to its increasingly dry climate. In the 2017 wildfire season, about 1.3 million acres burned across the state. It was one of the worst fire seasons for the state in the last decade.
Does homeowners insurance cover wildfire damage?: Yes, fire damage is covered by homeowners insurance policies. Even the most basic HO-1 policy will cover damage from fires.


You may not associate floods with hot, sunny Nevada, but they are actually quite common. Floods in Nevada are usually caused by flash flooding, heavy rains, winter snow thawing in the spring, and a change in natural drainage due to land development
Does homeowners insurance cover flood damage?: No. Homeowners insurance will not cover flood damage to your home. You will need to purchase separate flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or the private flood insurance marketplace.

Winter weather

The Silver State is actually known to have some white winters depending on the area. Residents may have to deal with snow, hail, ice, and sleet during the winter months.
Does homeowners insurance cover damage from winter weather?: Yes. Homeowners insurance covers damage caused by snow, rain, wind, and ice, so your policy should cover winter weather in Nevada.


Earthquakes are not a common event in Nevada—there has only been one recorded earthquake in the last 67 years. However, earthquakes can be extremely damaging and it’s important to be covered for them.
Does homeowners insurance cover earthquakes?: No. Earthquakes are not covered by standard homeowners policies, so you will need to purchase an additional earthquake insurance policy.
Key Takeaway The natural disasters you most need to be covered for in Nevada are winter storms, wildfires, and flooding. Your homeowners policy should cover the first two, but you’ll need to buy a separate flood insurance policy.

How to file a home insurance claim

Whether you live in Las Vegas or Reno, you can rely on your homeowners insurance policy to cover some of the natural disasters happening in Nevada. If your personal belongings or home are damaged by a natural disaster, here is how you can submit a claim with your home insurance: 
  • Document the losses. Create an inventory of everything that was damaged, and take lots and lots of pictures.
  • Call your insurance company to inform them you’re submitting a claim.
  • Keep track of how much you paid for each damaged item (hint: if you keep receipts, they can help out with this step!). 
  • Fill out the forms provided by your insurance company.
  • Meet with your assigned adjuster to assess the damage. Go over everything—you don’t want to miss out on funds because you skimmed over the house.  
  • Get estimates from local contractors for repairs so you can negotiate a fair settlement with your insurer.
  • Collect your money and start rebuilding your home.
Want to make it easier on yourself to file any future claims? Study the terms inside your homeowners insurance policy beforehand. That way, you won’t have to scramble to find your policy documents to see what’s covered after an emergency.

How to save money on homeowners and car insurance

Insurance Information Institute
conducted a study in 2016, and the results demonstrated that only 17% of homeowners shop for new quotes online before renewing their insurance policy. In terms of statistics, this means that 83% of homeowners might be paying more than they should for home insurance
You don’t want to be like the majority here. To make sure you’re getting a good rate on your homeowners insurance, download the
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