Does homeowners insurance cover volcanic eruptions?
Homeowners insurance may cover damage to your home and personal property from a volcanic eruption, including volcanic blasts, lava flows, ash, and any related fires or explosions. Although there's no such thing as "volcano insurance," you should ask your agent if your homeowners policy covers volcano-related damage, especially if you live near a potentially active volcano.
How does home insurance cover volcano damage?
If your homeowners insurance covers volcano damage, your dwelling coverage may pay to repair or rebuild your home if it's damaged in an eruption. Your personal property coverage may also cover any belongings that are damaged up to your policy's personal property limit or sub-limits.
Your policy may also pay the reasonable expense for the removal of ash, dust, or particles from a volcanic eruption that causes direct loss to your covered property.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), most active or potentially active volcanoes in the U.S. can be found in Alaska, Hawaii, and along the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon, and California. You can find out whether you live near an active volcano by looking at the USGS database. If you live near a volcano that's actively monitored by the USGS, you should check to see if your homeowners insurance policy covers volcanic eruptions.
Is there "volcano insurance" I can buy?
There's no such thing as volcano insurance, even in states that have active volcanoes. Instead, you should look for a homeowners policy that covers volcanic eruptions.
The USGS Volcanic Threat Assessment combines 24 factors, ranging from volcano and eruption type to past eruptions and current activity, to better understand your risk level if you live near an active volcano. The USGS also lists populations within 18 miles of an active volcano as an exposure factor, which can help you determine your level of risk based on proximity.
Other coverages to consider for natural disasters
A volcanic eruption can cause or coincide with other natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis that cause flooding. Earthquakes and floods are not typically covered by home insurance, but you may be able to purchase separate earthquake and flood insurance policies to fully protect your home.
Adding comprehensive coverage to your auto policy can also be helpful if your vehicle is damaged by a volcanic eruption. In general, comprehensive covers unexpected damage to your vehicle if caused by something other than a collision, including volcanoes.