Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Are You Covered By Hurricane or Flood Insurance?

Wayne Yoshioka

Tropical Storm Olivia is weakening but Hawai’i homeowners should be aware of what their insurance policies cover.


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
State Insurance Commissioner, Gordon Ito

State Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito says Hawai’i homeowners should consider purchasing 3 types of types of insurance: homeowners, hurricane and flood.


“Homeowner’s policies apply if there’s a wind storm that’s 73 miles per hour or less.  But, if the winds were sustained at 74 miles and above and the National Weather Service had declared a hurricane, then your hurricane policy would be applicable to cover wind damage.”


So, if, during a tropical storm or hurricane, the roof of your home is blown off and wind-driven rain damages or destroys its contents, that would be covered by homeowners or hurricane insurance, depending on the wind speed.  Flood insurance, Ito says, is provided by the national flood insurance program.


“If the stream overflowed or there’s heavy rain and the water flows down from the hill and it goes into your home, that’s flood insurance.  It’s not covered under homeowners or hurricane insurance, typically.”


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Booklets on Insurance for Homeowners

Insurance policies and coverage for the home will differ, depending on the company.   But, that’s not all.  There’s also the motor vehicle in the garage or carport that’s not protected by homeowners, hurricane,  flood or basic no-fault insurance…


“For example, if you live in a condo and you park your car in the basement and the basement get flooded, and you have the basic minimum no-fault coverage and you don’t have comprehensive coverage, your motor vehicle policy will not cover that flood damage.” 


And, before hurricane season starts, Insurance Commissioner Ito recommends a few things be taken care of.


“Take pictures of what you have in your homes or condos. 

Take an inventory, if you have your policy make sure they have their contact numbers for the agent and insurance company.  Put it in a waterproof bag and keep that in a safe place.”


For more information go to  Wayne Yoshioka,

HPR News.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
Related Stories