The devastating wildfires on Maui have left many residents homeless and possibly in a situation where everything they own may be gone. Many are wondering if their insurance will cover their losses.
This morning on Wake Up 2Day, Tim Johns, the President and CEO of Zephyr Insurance joined us to answer a few very important questions to help explain who is covered by their home and car insurance policies.
Question-Are homeowners on Maui covered by their homeowners insurance?
Answer- Yes, most standard homeowners, condo and renters insurance policies provide coverage to replace your home and/or its contents in the event of damage due to a fire. In fact, Zephyr Insurance has held several Claims Assistance events on Maui to help our Homeowners, Condo and Renters policyholders navigate the insurance claims process. We were in West Maui on Friday, and we are holding another event today from 10 am – 3 pm at the Finance Factors – Finance Insurance Building in Kahului. If you’re a Zephyr Insurance policyholder or think you may be and your home has been impacted by the wildfires on Maui, please come and see us today.
Question-Do they need fire insurance specifically? Is it common for people in Hawaii to have fire insurance?
Answer-Most standard homeowners, condo and renters insurance policies provide coverage to replace your home and/or its contents in the event of damage due to a fire. The major difference between a homeowner and fire policy is occupancy. If you own a home but do not live in it, then a dwelling fire policy is common.
Question–What about cars? Are they covered if they comprehensive insurance?
Answer-If your auto insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, it will cover events that can cause damage to your car, including fires.
Tim also wanted to remind residents of the four separate types of insurance policies that they may need to protect their home and belongings:
- Homeowners Insurance: Provides coverage for damage to your house, any permanent structures on your property, personal property and loss of use. This includes coverage for damage as a result of a fire.
- Hurricane Insurance: This is a separate policy that provides coverage for damage to your home that is caused by hurricane winds when a hurricane watch or warning has been issued.
- Flood Insurance: This is aslo a separate policy. It provides coverage for damage caused by heavy rainfall, storm surges, overflowing streams and other types of flowing water.
- Auto Insurance: This is also a separate policy. If your auto insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, it will cover damage to your car from events other than a collision, such as theft, fire, or vandalism.
Johns also said that the insurance commissioner has requested carriers work with their insureds to ensure coverage continues during this time and policies do not lapse. Understanding the hardships policyholders affected by the wildfires in Maui and Hawaii counties he asked insurers to refrain from cancelling or nor renewing policies due to non-payment, work with the insured on a structured payment plan and to waive late fees and penalties.