Insurance and Disasters
and Medical Emergencies
So what does Life Insurance, Property Insurance
and Financial Planning have to do
with Disaster Preparedness?
Natural Disasters in the United States
The country is prone to many different types of natural disasters, and each region has its own risks. Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, blizzards, lightning storms and earthquakes hit with alarming frequency.
In 2018, there were eight Atlantic hurricanes and a record-breaking seven subtropical storms.
There were over 100 wildfires, with the Carr Fire alone destroying well over 1,000 homes. The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire
in California history.
It killed 85 people and destroyed the entire town of Paradise.
Roads and bridges collapsed and homes were trashed when a 7.0 earthquake hit Anchorage, and a massive blizzard caused a 70-car pileup on a freeway in Iowa.
Natural disasters are becoming more frequent - and more expensive.
The average number of billion-dollar disasters per year over the last 5 years
is more than double the average since 1980.
Does life insurance cover natural disasters?
Yes, the accidental death benefit on a life insurance policy would pay out
if the policyholder died in a natural disaster. While it is always best to check
your policy to make sure, most life insurance policies will pay out for any accidental death, regardless of cause.
(If you chase down a natural disaster and do not have a policy that includes
high-risk activities, your beneficiary might not be able to claim the funds.
For example, if you die of smoke inhalation while trying to photograph
a wildfire or are killed while attempting to take video outside during a hurricane, the insurance company can deny the claim.)
How Life Insurance Protects You From Natural Disasters
Insurance can not keep you physically safe during a natural disaster, but it can help you and your loved ones deal with the aftermath.
If something happens to you, will your loved ones be able to maintain your
current lifestyle without your income?
A life insurance policy can pay for funeral and burial costs as well as
If you are seriously injured in a disaster, income protection can help you
with the day-to-day living expenses until you are able to return to work.
Personal accident insurance
After a serious injury, bills can start to pile up and your health insurance will not cover all of them. Personal accident insurance can cover medical copays, nursing care, renovations to make your home more accessible and day-to-day expenses while you are not working.
Other Types of Insurance and Natural Disasters
To stay fully protected from the financial consequences of natural disasters,
you will want to check each one of your insurance policies to find out how you are protected.
Many homeowners insurance policies do not cover natural disasters, and
you may need to take out additional coverage - especially if you live in a high-risk area, like on a fault line or near a forest.
Like homeowners insurance, many renters insurance policies exclude damage from natural disasters - especially in high-risk areas.
If you have comprehensive car insurance, you are likely already covered
for natural disasters. Exclusions vary from policy to policy, so it is best
to double check with your insurer.
Health insurance policies cover you no matter how you get sick or injured,
so if you are hurt in a natural disaster your health insurance policy can help
with the medical bills.
Ways You Can Plan Ahead for a Natural Disaster
Preparing ahead of time can help negate any risks you and your family might face should disaster strike.
To make sure your family is protected in the event of a natural disaster:
Check Your Insurance Policies
Review your insurance policies, including life insurance, homeowners or
renters insurance, car insurance and health insurance to make sure
you are fully protected.
Speak to Your Financial Advisor
Speaking to your financial advisor will provide valuable information on how
you are able to financially protect yourself and your family from the aftermath
of a natural disaster.
Put Together a Disaster and Medical Emergency Kit
Include important documents, first aid supplies, clothes, food, water and cash. Put your emergency bag in an easily accessible area, such as an entryway closet or the trunk of your car.
Stock Your Home
Keep enough food and water to last for several days, preferably a week or more in your house, along with flashlights, extra batteries and a radio.The Bottom Line
While life insurance cannot prevent natural disasters from occurring,
it can prevent your loved ones from being unable to pay the bills if something happens to you.