By: MICHELLE SEE
In Pahoa, Hawaii, volcanoes are changing neighborhoods forever. Many homeowners are concerned about the volcano damage, would the damage be covered? It all just depends on the homeowners insurance policy and how bad the house was damaged. Jerry Bump, Chief Deputy insurance commissioner at the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs said, “There’s no such thing as volcano insurance or lava flow insurance”. If the homeowner had purchased a policy that covers all risks, the damaged would be covered. Bump said, “People who live in designed USGS lava zoned areas, trying to get coverage would be difficult. For insurers perspective, the risk is too high. The people who are buying houses in dangerous areas realize they are putting their lives at risk”.
About 1,700 people had to flee away from their homes because of the volcano and many don’t know if they are still standing. Steve Gebbie was forced from his home on Leilani Estates after the volcano erupted on Thursday. He said, “most people in his neighborhood don’t have insurance that would cover the lava damage.” For people who don’t have insurance, the Hawaii Insurance Division advises removing belongings from their homes and making plans for where to stay. And for people with homeowners insurance, they recommend keeping the policy in a safe place, and removing as much from your homes because the lava flow could cut off their access.