Which Natural Disasters Does Homeowners Insurance Cover in Wyoming?

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Some of the most frequent natural disasters in Wyoming include flooding, wildfires, severe storms, and landslides. Damage from fire and wind is most likely covered by your homeowners insurance, but more coverage will be needed to protect against flooding and other risks.
There are numerous myths concerning natural disasters and homeowners insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 28% of U.S homeowners believe standard home insurance policies include flood damage from hurricane storm surges, and 29% believe earthquakes are protected
When a crisis occurs and insurance fails to pay, homeowners may feel stranded.
When you look at natural catastrophes by state, it might be even more difficult to grasp what is covered. What are the most common natural disasters in Wyoming, and are they protected by homeowners insurance?
The all-in-one home and auto insurance app Jerry will go over all you should know about natural disasters and home insurance in Wyoming down below.
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What is homeowners insurance—and what does it cover?  

A home insurance policy protects your home and contents, as well as loss of use, liability, and medical bills for visitors hurt in your home. Policies might differ in terms of coverage amounts as well as perils covered.

Levels of homeowners insurance coverage

HO-1: The most fundamental homeowners insurance policy (HO-1) only covers your principal dwelling and excludes personal belongings, loss of use, and liabilities. Named perils such as fire, wind damage, and hail are frequently covered in HO-1 insurance.
HO-2: HO-2 is another named perils policy that protects your house and personal items from damage done by (as you might guess) named perils in your policy.
HO-3: The most used type of home insurance policy is an HO-3 policy. Coverage includes the primary structure, any extra structures (such as a shed), personal property, loss of use, liabilities, and medical expenditures.
When it comes to the main building, HO-3 insurance is an open perils policy, which means it will cover any risk except those specifically listed as not covered. Personal property coverage, though, is restricted to specific dangers.
HO-5: An HO-5 coverage is the top standard when it comes to home insurance. As an open perils policy, it covers both your home and your belongings—but expect to pay a higher premium for this additional coverage.
For your convenience, we've broken down all this information in the table below:
Policy typeWhat’s coveredOpen perils?
HO-1Main structure onlyNamed perils only
HO-2Main structure, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical paymentsNamed perils only
HO-3Main structure, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical paymentsMain structure is open perils, personal property is named perils only
HO-5Main structure, personal property, loss of use, liability, medical paymentsYes

What perils are covered by homeowners insurance?

It's vital to understand what risks are covered, whether you have HO-1, HO-2, or HO-3 insurance coverage. Look over your plan to determine the particular protection offered by your policy, but you should anticipate coverage for the following 16 named perils:
  • Fire and lightning 
  • Smoke
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Hail and windstorms
  • Vandalism 
  • Damage caused by vehicles 
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Theft or malicious mischief
  • Falling objects (usually not covered by HO-1)
  • Weight of snow, ice, or sleet (usually not covered by HO-1)
  • Frozen pipes (usually not covered by HO-1)
  • Water overflow or discharge from plumbing (usually not covered by HO-1)
  • Water heater cracking (usually not covered by HO-1)
  • Damage from electrical current (usually not covered by HO-1)
Take special note of everything that is not on the list. Many homeowners don't know floods and earthquakes are not covered by their policies, which is concerning given that these are two of the most common natural disasters in the United States.
Because most homeowners insurance plans do not cover all natural disasters, it's vital to understand what your insurance does and doesn't cover.
Key Takeaway Your home insurance coverage is determined by the type of policy you have and the precise risks listed on it.

Does home insurance cover natural disasters in Wyoming? 

Though you might not expect it, natural disasters can be pretty common in Wyoming, and it is one of the more disaster-prone states.
Wildfires, floods, severe storms, landslides, droughts, winter storms, and earthquakes are the most prevalent natural disasters in Wyoming. Less common disasters include tornadoes and power outages.
According to FEMA, the Equality State reported 34 significant disasters between 1953 and 2019.
Let's look at a few of Wyoming's most prevalent natural disasters to see what's covered and what isn't.

Flooding

Flooding is one of the most common risks in Wyoming, and they occur on a regular basis. Wyoming's steep and varied terrain, combined with the state's unique soil conditions, all contribute to the frequency and intensity of flash floods.
For the most part, flash floods in Wyoming occur from May through September, with the peak occurring in late July and early August—in part due to melting snow and ice early on in the year.
Does homeowners insurance cover flooding?: No, you'll need to obtain separate flood insurance. FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a reliable option for homeowners to buy flood insurance from.

Wildfires

Wyoming experiences over 700 wildfires every year on average. Despite the fact that the state receives a lot of rain, it does experience periods of drought—this is one of the reasons why wildfires occur on a regular basis.
The Insurance Information Institute says an estimated 36,800 Wyoming homes can be damaged by wildfires—that's 13%!
Does homeowners insurance cover fire damage?: Yes. All types of home insurance cover fire damage, from the most simple HO-1 policy to the most costly HO-5 policy.

Earthquakes

Wyoming also experiences a high number of earthquakes each year as a result of the multiple fault lines that exist throughout the state. 
Every year, the state experiences approximately 2,500 tremors on average. Several of them can be pretty severe, and cause a decent amount of damage to homes and properties.
Does homeowners insurance cover earthquakes?: No, you’ll have to purchase an additional policy. 

Tornadoes and severe storms

There are several strong storms in the winter, spring, and summer—Wyoming experiences precipitation on average 99 days per year.
Wyoming does not receive many hurricanes, but it does receive approximately 19 tornadoes every year. 
Does homeowners insurance cover tornadoes?: There is no specific coverage needed for tornadoes, but most home insurance policies cover damage as a result of wind and hail (which are likely damages that come about due to tornadoes).

Sinkholes and landslides

Lastly, because of Wyoming's unique geology, sinkholes and landslides are a common occurrence in the state. 
A large portion of the state is hilly, and there are numerous fault lines running across it. Thanks to this and the high rates of precipitation, landslides and sinkholes are a hazard for homeowners in Wyoming.
Does homeowners insurance cover mudslides?: No, you'll need to get an additional policy to protect yourself from landslides and sinkholes.
Key Takeaway Your homeowners insurance, ideally, should cover wildfires and severe storms, but you may require supplementary coverage for flooding, earthquakes, and landslides.

How to file a home insurance claim

No matter where you live in Wyoming, you should have adequate coverage for the natural disasters that Wyoming residents are subject to. Here are the procedures you need to take to register a claim if your house or personal property is damaged by a natural disaster:
  • Keep a record of your losses. Photograph your items and make a list of any damaged things.
  • Inform your insurance company that you intend to file a claim. They will assign an adjuster to review the evidence.
  • Calculate how much you purchased each item for (having receipts handy can be useful, essential for large-ticket items!)
  • Fill out the paperwork for your claim provided by your insurance company.
  • Consult with your adjuster about the damage. You don't want to lose money because you missed some items or rooms.
  • Obtain repair quotes from contractors to help you negotiate an ideal settlement.
  • Collect your finances and start the process of rebuilding your house and/or property.
Understanding the terms of your home insurance policy before a crisis occurs is the simplest way to ensure that your insurance claim process goes as smoothly as possible. That way, during a crisis, you won't have to rush to figure out what's covered and what isn't.

How to save money on homeowners and car insurance

Did you know that up to 83% of homeowners are overpaying for their home insurance? Most don’t take the time to compare quotes from multiple insurers before renewing their policy, and they end up losing hundreds of dollars because of this. According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 17% go above and beyond to get better prices.
Looking to save money but don't want the hassle of sifting through quotes yourself? Then you should check out Jerry.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old policy! 
To save even more money, Jerry can help you bundle your home and auto policies for maximum savings. 
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