With the Kilauea Volcano causing so much destruction on Hawaii’s Big Island this week, many in the Northwest — an area home to several volcanoes — are wondering what their insurance policies might cover in the event of an eruption.

The Insurance Information Institute recently issued a statement detailing what is generally covered and not covered under standard homeowners, renters, business owners, and comprehensive auto insurance policies with regard to volcano damage.

What’s usually covered:

  • Property loss caused by the volcanic blast, airborne shockwaves, ash, dust, lava flow, and fire resulting from a volcanic eruption
  • Property damage, vandalism, or theft due to looting if occupants of a structure are displaced
  • Direct, sudden damage to vehicle engines from volcanic ash or dust
  • Damage to vehicles caused by lava flow is usually only covered under optional, comprehensive coverage policies
  • Business interruption coverage, if included and applicable, usually kicks in after 72 hours

What’s not usually covered (unless you have specialized insurance):

  • Damage from earthquakes, land tremors, landslides, and mudflows whether or not the earth movement is caused by a volcanic eruption
  • Damage to land, trees, plants, lawns, or property out in the open
  • The cost to remove ash from property or surrounding land, unless the ash caused the direct loss of physical property
  • Volcanic effusion, or damage due to mud or flooding

To read the Insurance Information Institute’s full primer on volcanoes and insurance, go here.