Officials in Hawaii are scrambling to make sure that those living in Pahoa Village on the Big Island are safe and out of harm's way. Lava flow from an active volcano has been threatening the village, and dozens of individuals have been warned that evacuation may be necessary for their safety. As of Monday morning, hot lava was only 100 yards away from one Pahoa Village residence.
Lava Has Been Advancing for Weeks
The lava has been advancing for weeks in the Pahoa Village, which is the central town of island's Puna district. The Puna district is known for offering a more rural lifestyle than the more cosmopolitan areas on other islands, such as Honolulu on the island of Oahu. However, that laid back lifestyle comes with the threat of living in the path of Kilauea volcano, whose lava flows have been advancing at about 10 to 15 yards every hour in recent days.
Fortunately, the slow speed of the lava flow has given residents enough time to make plans for relocation and evacuation where necessary. Some have already left. One couple said that they have already evacuated and are making periodic trips to their home to gather their belongings. It was estimated that the lava flow will reach their house early this week.
Does Homeowners' Insurance Cover Volcano Damage?
The danger presented by Kilauea volcano brings to mind the issue of homeowners' insurance and whether it covers volcano damage. In most cases, your home is probably not covered, unless you have specifically bought a policy that includes coverage for such damage. Fortunately, this kind of coverage does exist and homeowners living under the threat of volcanoes may want to buy volcano damage insurance.
According the the U.S. Geological Survey (the science agency for the Department of the Interior), a total of seventeen states have known volcanoes inside their borders. California, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington and Wyoming have active volcanos. Even dormant volcanos could unexpectedly blow up at any time, like Mount St. Helens did in 1980, after over a hundred years of dormancy.
Homeowners in states with active or dormant volcanoes may want to review their homeowners' insurance policies to see if volcano damage is covered. If it is not, it could be wise to add volcano coverage. Otherwise, individuals could lose their homes in an unexpected event, like what is currently happening in Pahoa Village, Hawaii, and not have any way to get their investment back.
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