Lexington attracts new residents for a variety of reasons. Lexington has a stable economy with one of the lowest unemployment rates among comparable-sized cities. Lexington has four distinct seasons during the year, with outdoor activities to enjoy year-round. And Lexington has many opportunities for spectator sports at the University of Kentucky and cultural events, like the oldest bluegrass festival in the state.
However, Kentucky also has the eighth highest number of federal disaster declarations in the country, with 56 major disasters since 1953. While no one can prevent major disasters, it is possible to prepare.
One way to prepare is to purchase homeowners insurance. Even those who already have home insurance may find it worthwhile to review their policies. You may find your policy has limits or exclusions that do not fit with the coverage that you need. This knowledge allows you to collect homeowner insurance quotes from insurance companies to fill in the gaps in coverage.
Here are four situations that have led to federal disaster declarations in Kentucky:
Fayette County has seen 13 federal disaster declarations, with floods triggering six of those. Although Kentucky has limestone geology that allows drainage of surface water, heavy rains can overwhelm the Kentucky River and the lakes and streams that feed it. Aside from the potential for water damage, flooding can also trigger mudslides, sinkholes, and subsidence of the ground supporting your house.
Flood insurance is sometimes a separate policy or policy rider for homeowners insurance, so you should not assume that your homeowners insurance policy covers damage caused by floods. The only way to be sure that your policy covers flooding is to review your policy. If it does not, you can obtain homeowner insurance quotes for floods.
Most Americans would be surprised to hear that Lexington receives 13 inches of snow per year. Residents of Kentucky, however, would probably not be surprised to hear that snowstorms and ice storms are the second most frequent trigger for federal disaster declarations in the state.
Snow and ice can damage roofs and create slippery walkways and driveways. Fortunately, home insurance policies usually cover structural damage due to snowstorms and ice storms, as well as liability if guests slip on icy walkways and driveways.
Indoor fires also spike during winter with the increased use of fireplaces and space heaters, as well as added strain on central furnaces. Homeowners insurance can cover fire damage as well as water damage caused by extinguishing the fire. However, other costs, such as living expenses while the house is repaired or rebuilt and reimbursement to fire departments for cities that charge for fire services may not be included. Moreover, reimbursement for fire damage to personal property is limited. To ensure that you have adequate fire coverage, you should review your policy with an insurance agent who can also provide homeowner insurance quotes should you need additional coverage.
Five of the federal disaster declarations in Fayette County have included high winds, whether from storms, tornadoes, or hurricanes. Tornadoes have increased in Kentucky, leading to its inclusion in “Dixie Alley” or “Hoosier Alley”, a collection of mid-west and southeast states that has seen a recent jump in tornadoes. Moreover, large hurricanes, such as Hurricane Katrina, can reach far enough inland to affect Kentucky.
High wind can not only damage roofs, windows, doors, and siding, but can also damage power lines leading to electrical fires. Homeowners insurance usually covers damage to the exterior of the home, as well as fire damage as described above. Flooding caused by hurricanes, however, might be excluded from a basic homeowners insurance policy, so collecting homeowner insurance quotes for additional coverage might be advisable.
Wildfires are also on the rise in Kentucky. Hot, dry springs and summers have led to an average of about 800 wildfires per year in Kentucky. While no federal disasters have been declared in Fayette County, eight federal disasters have been declared elsewhere in Kentucky due to wildfires. All eight of these wildfires have occurred since 1999. As previously described, fire damage to homes and their contents, which makes up over 20% of home insurance claims, is usually covered.
Reviewing home insurance to make sure it covers your home and possessions is an important part of disaster preparedness.