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The most common natural disasters in New Hampshire are severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and floods. Damages from thunderstorms and hurricanes will usually be covered by homeowners’ insurance, but flood damage will not.
Standard insurance protects against a very limited range of disasters. Even if a given disaster is covered, insurance will only pay for the expenses for which you have coverage. To be fully protected, you’ll probably want to purchase additional insurance, so it’s important to know what your policy covers and where any gaps are.
Insurance comparison and super-app Jerry is here to help you make sense of your home insurance policy, what it covers, and what it does not.
What is homeowners’ insurance—and what does it cover?
Homeowners’ insurance covers damages to, in, or involving your house. Exactly what types of damage it covers will vary between policies. Different levels of insurance will include different coverages and protect against different perils.
What level your home insurance is will determine what types of expenses it covers, and its named perils will tell you what events are covered.
Levels of homeowners’ insurance coverage
HO-1 is the first and most basic level of coverage. It protects your primary dwelling from named perils. Level 1 will not protect any secondary structures or personal property. It also will not cover expenses if your home becomes unlivable or if someone is injured on your property.
HO-2 is the next level and it is slightly more comprehensive, but it still has many gaps. It will cover damages to your primary dwelling, lost or damaged personal property. Level 2 only covers damages from named perils.
HO-3 is the third and most common level of coverage. It covers your primary dwelling, secondary structures, and lost or damaged personal property, as well as expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable or if someone is injured on your property.
Level 3 is considered an open peril policy because it covers damages to your home from any peril, not just named perils. However, an HO-3 policy will likely list specific perils that it does not cover. Keep in mind that level 3 is only an open peril policy in regards to your house, your personal property is still only protected from named perils.
HO-5 is the highest level of coverage. It covers everything that Level 3 covers, and it includes open peril coverage for both your house and your property.
Here’s another look at what each policy covers:
|Policy type||What’s covered||Open perils?|
|HO-1||Main structure only||Named perils only|
|HO-2||Main structure, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments||Named perils only|
|HO-3||Main structure, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments||Main structure - open perils, personal property - listed perils only|
|HO-5||Main structure, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments||Yes|
A peril is something that causes damage to your home. Unless your homeowners’ insurance is an open peril policy, it will only cover damages that were caused by Some home insurance will only pay for damages if they were caused by named perils that are specifically listed on your policy agreement. Most home insurance will at least cover the following perils:
- Fire and lightning
- Volcanic eruption
- Riot or civil commotion
- Hail and windstorms
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Theft of Malicious mischief
Key Takeaway: Homeowner’s insurance will only pay for damage expenses under certain conditions. Some natural disasters, like earthquakes and flooding, will need separate insurance.
Does home insurance cover natural disasters in New Hampshire?
Whether your home insurance will cover damages from a natural disaster depends on exactly what type of natural disaster it is. The most common types of natural disasters in New Hampshire are severe thunderstorms and hurricanes which are usually covered by insurance, and flooding, which is not.
Other, less common disasters in New Hampshire include nor’easters, wildfires, landslides, earthquakes, tornados, and power outages.
Floods are the second most common type of natural disaster in New Hampshire and the most problematic for homeowners. Floods are more serious than other types of disasters because they are not covered by standard insurance.
Unless you want to end up paying for flood damages out of pocket, you should consider purchasing stand-alone flood insurance. Many homeowners choose to purchase their coverage from the federally run National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to save money.
Hurricanes are the third most common type of natural disaster in New Hampshire where hit about once every seven years on average. You won’t find hurricanes specifically listed as a named peril on an insurance policy. Instead, you’ll see windstorm damage listed in almost all insurance policies, which includes damage from hurricanes.
Severe thunderstorms are by far the most common type of natural disaster in New Hampshire. They can cause extensive damage to structures and electrical systems. Most damage from a severe thunderstorm would be classified as windstorm damage, lightning damage, or flood damage.
Windstorms and lightning damage are both covered by standard home insurance. As mentioned earlier, flood damage is not covered.
How to file a home insurance claim
Once you’ve determined if your natural disaster damages will be covered, you’ll want to make a claim to your insurance company. To file your claim, follow these steps:
- Record your losses. Sort through the damages to your home and property and compile a list of your losses.
- Tell your insurance company. Reach out to your insurance provider and inform them that you’ll be submitting a claim. They will assign you an adjuster.
- File your claim. Your adjuster should provide you with any and all paperwork you need to fill out.
- Meet with the adjuster. Your insurance company will send the adjuster out to your house to assess the damage.
- Get repair estimates. Call a contractor to come out and estimate the cost of any repairs that need to be made.
- Negotiate. The insurance company will reach out with an offer. You can either accept their initial offer or try to negotiate a higher settlement.
- Collect your funds.
How to save money on homeowners and car insurance
No one wants to overpay on homeowners insurance, especially if there are additional coverages you need.
The number one way to ensure you are not overpaying for homeowners insurance is to compare rates from multiple providers. But getting and comparing rates from insurance providers can be time-consuming.
That’s why insurance super-app Jerry has made it fast and easy for you! All you have to do is download the app and enter your information. We’ll get you quotes from the nation’s top insurance companies in as little as 45 seconds.
“Jerry was wonderful! I used it for my auto and renters policies. I trusted it so much that I signed up my homeowners insurance under Jerry as well. All of the agents are amazingly nice and knowledgeable.” —Mary Y.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
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