Which Natural Disasters Does Home Insurance Cover in North Dakota?

Be prepared for an emergency and review what perils are covered in your North Dakota homeowners insurance policy.
Written by Kara Vanderbeek
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
Floods, severe storms, blizzards, and wildfires are just a few of the 53 major natural disasters to have hit the state of
North Dakota
within the past 65 years. Luckily, state residents can protect themselves from unexpected disastrous events with homeowners insurance. 
So what exactly does your policy cover? A study completed by the Insurance Information Institute discovered that 28% of Americans incorrectly assume that flood and earthquake damages are covered by their insurance. Unfortunately, such misperceptions of coverage have left many homeowners in financial crises when disaster strikes.
Knowing the risks present in your state and which perils are covered by your policy may save you from paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for damage repairs. In this article,
and home insurance app
will go through all the information you need to know about homeowners insurance in North Dakota.
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What is homeowners insurance—and what does it cover?  

A homeowners insurance policy provides financial protection from losses and damages to your home due to thefts, accidents, and disasters. The four primary types of coverage include:
  • Coverage for the structure of your home
  • Personal property coverage 
  • Coverage for additional living expenses

Levels of homeowners insurance coverage

An HO-1 policy insures your property against damages or losses from basic coverage perils (listed below). This policy is the least expensive and does not cover loss of use, personal property, or liability.
An HO-2 policy insures your property against damages or losses from broad coverage perils (listed below). 
An HO-3 policy insures your property against damages or losses from any perils, except for those specifically listed as not covered. HO-3 policies are the most commonly sold policies in North Dakota.
An HO-5 policy is the most comprehensive and expensive policy and covers any perils except for those specifically listed as not covered.
To understand policy options in more detail, review the table below:
Policy type
What’s covered
Open perils?
Main structure only
Named perils only
Main structure, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments
Named perils only
Main structure, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments
Main structure - open perils, personal property - listed perils only
Main structure, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments

What perils are covered by homeowners insurance?

The perils covered by your policy will depend on which type of coverage you have and which perils are named on your policy. 
Basic coverage perils include (HO-1 policy):
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm and hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Aircraft
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism and malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Glass breakage
Broad coverage perils include (HO-2 policy):
  • All of the above basic coverage perils 
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Collapse of building
  • Accidental discharge of water or steam
  • Sudden or accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging, freezing
  • Sudden or accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current
HO-3 and HO-5 policies, while providing wider coverage against perils, do not cover damages from every disaster, and none of the above policies cover damages from flooding and earthquakes - the two most common natural disasters in the United States!
It’s important to know what perils are covered by insurance to ensure you’re adequately prepared for any disaster you may be at risk of in North Dakota.
Key Takeaway Your homeowners insurance coverage depends on your policy type and the specific perils listed on your policy. 

Does home insurance cover natural disasters in North Dakota? 

Natural disasters inevitably impact large populations each year, causing destruction to buildings, homes, and communities. While it's impossible to control a disaster, you can prepare for its arrival and establish an insurance policy that will help you to recover after the event.
With a variety of natural disasters in its wake, North Dakota residents should be prepared for any type of impending hazard. Let’s examine the most common disasters in North Dakota to see which ones are covered - and which ones aren’t. 


Flooding is common in North Dakota along the Missouri River, Red River, and Devil’s Lake, among others. Heavy precipitation and warm temperatures cause river beds to swell and eventually overflow to flood nearby towns in the spring and summer months.
Densely populated areas such as Grand Forks, Bismarck, and Fargo are at higher risk of flooding due to their proximity to rivers, with the state ranking as 27th in the nation for flood risk.
Flooding is not covered by standard insurance policies. Homeowners can purchase special policies to protect their homes from flooding, irrespective of if their home is located in a floodplain. Flood insurance can cover damages of up to $250,000, with varying premiums depending on risk level, amount of coverage, and type of coverage.
You can purchase flood insurance directly from your property insurance agent or insurance company. Keep in mind that it may take up to 30 days for a policy to be activated, so it's important to plan ahead.

Severe Storms

Severe storms cost North Dakota more money in damages per year than any other major disaster. With an average of 19 to 35 severe thunderstorms per year, these disasters cost the state millions of dollars each year. 
In addition to their financial implications, severe storms are dangerous to residents and may include powerful winds, lightning, heavy precipitation, and hail.
Fortunately, most insurance policies will cover damages associated with hail, wind, and lightning, so you don’t have to worry about your protection. 

Winter Storms

Winter storms are common in North Dakota throughout the months of November to March and often include heavy snowfall, wind, freezing temperatures, and low visibility.
The state has experienced severe blizzards in the past, including the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1988 and the Blizzard of 1920, both of which resulted in the deaths of civilians.
If we know anything about history, it's that it will repeat itself. You can prepare for an impending blizzard with a broad coverage policy, which, unlike an HO-1 policy, will protect your home against damages from snow, ice, and sleet.


Wildfires are not uncommon in North Dakota and burn approximately 13,000 acres of land each year. Droughts can exacerbate the problem and spark fires in areas of limited moisture, such was the case in 2021 where 6 times the average number of acres burned throughout the state!
Damage caused by wildfires is protected by homeowners insurance across HO-1 basic coverage policies to HO-5 comprehensive coverage policies.
Key Takeaway Your homeowners insurance should cover claims associated with winter storms, fires, and thunderstorms, but you may need additional coverage for flooding. 

How to file a home insurance claim

Whether you’ve been hit with a wildfire, snowstorm, or hail damage, your homeowners insurance policy should cover at least some of the damages. To submit a claim with your insurance company, follow the steps below:
  • Document the damages and losses with photographs
  • Contact your insurance company and inform them that you need to submit a claim
  • Determine the amount paid for each item lost or damaged with as much accuracy as possible (hint: keep track of your receipts to make this step easier!)
  • Complete any necessary paperwork from your insurer
  • Meet with an insurance adjuster to review the damages and receive a settlement estimate
  • Collect your settlement and repair your losses and damages

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