Hawaiian Homeowners Policies May Not Be Protected From Lava Damage

The eruption of Kilauea in Hawaii has captured the attention of the world. The volcano is still erupting, and experts say may continue to erupt for months to come. So what does this mean for Hawaii residents? More specifically, do their homeowners policies cover lava damage? This question has been weighing on so many minds that Gordon Ito, Hawaii’s insurance commissioner released a statement about it.

Gordon Ito’s original statement assured the people of Hawaii that all damage to their homes causes by the Volcano would be covered. However, the relief felt by hawaiians was short lived as the commissioners office had to quickly release another statement explaining that coverage actually varies from policy to policy, and some people might be protected from lava damage. The commissioner’s office urged residents to speak with their insurance agent as soon as possible to check on their coverage.

According to the commissioner’s office, 25 residential homes have been destroyed by the volcano so far. That number is likely to continue to rise as the eruption continues. Risk modeling forum CoreLogic estimates that 1,000 residential homes are still within a high-risk area. Since the average value of those homes is about $230,000 the aggregate potential risk is well over $239 million. If you total up all the homes at any kind of risk of damage from this volcano, than CoreLogic’s estimate rises to 5,000 homes.

The insurance consequences of this disaster will become more clear as time goes on. For now, the volcano continues to erupt and the damage total continues to rise. Hopefully the word is out there to hawaiian residents that their home might not be protected from lava damage.

This should serve as a sobering reminder to make sure that your homeowners policy is up to date. If you want to check on your policy, or inquire about a new one, we encourage you to reach out to TGS Insurance. The staff at TGS are experts in homeowners policies and always ready to help. Visit www.tgsinsurance.com to learn more.

Sources:
https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2018/05/14/489181.htm