Prepare for Severe Weather - Part 3

Some points to keep in mind:

  • If you own your home, verify its replacement cost. Replacement cost is the amount it takes to rebuild the house using similar materials. Compare this figure to the policy's dwelling limit. Insuring for less than replacement cost could reduce the claim settlement. Raise the policy's dwelling limit as needed.
  • All policyholders should complete a room-by-room personal property inventory to determine personal property insurance needs. Compare the total value of your belongings to the policy's personal property coverage limit. Talk to your homeowner insurance agent about the best way to insure unique and high-value items. Store your personal property inventory in a safe deposit box and update it periodically.
  • Be familiar with the insurance contract. Confirm identifying information is accurate. Note the deductible. Review policy limitations and loss settlement provisions. Find out what is and is not covered. Most insurers offer a variety of policy add-ons that broaden coverage for an additional cost. Examples to consider include dwelling extended replacement cost, contents replacement cost, scheduled personal article floater, refrigerated products, inflation guard, home business, and more.
  • A downpour may cause water to enter the dwelling through a backed-up sewer line or sump pump drain. Homeowners insurance does not cover this type of loss unless sewer back-up and sump pump overflow coverage has been added to the policy prior to the event.
  • Flood is another water situation that causes major property loss. Homeowners policies exclude flood damage. Insurance for flood-related damage is available only by purchasing a separate, stand-alone policy. Ask a homeowner insurance agent for cost and coverage specifics.
  • Be familiar with the claim process. Settlement options and policyholder duties are outlined in the insurance policy.
  • Carefully examine your property following a severe weather event. Report storm damage to the insurer as soon as possible. Make temporary repairs to prevent more damage. Save receipts for materials, and submit them to the insurance company for reimbursement. Be prepared to provide a list of damaged personal property. Do not throw anything away until the adjuster has seen the damage an given approval.

Spring weather is unpredictable. Protect yourself, your family, and your possessions. Brush up on severe weather terms; review your response plan; maintain your property; and be certain you have adequate insurance protection.