Preparedness Tips For Homeowners during Hurricane Season
HURRICANE SEASON starts at the beginning of June and lasts until the end of November. Summertime, though usually pleasant, is also when natural disasters tend to strike. The threat of such catastrophes as hurricanes or floods occurring is a real one. You can plan ahead to avoid the consequences that these disasters can have on your life and property. Preparing a few steps ahead can also get you back on the road to recovery more swiftly.
Be sure your homeowner's policy gives you protection against natural disasters. Plan ahead, as flood insurance takes 30 days to go into effect after obtaining it. Insurance companies also issue binding restrictions limiting agencies ability to offer new coverage or increase existing coverage when the National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm watch/warning or hurricane watch/warning.
Standard home or business insurance policies cover wind damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. However, these policies do not cover flood damage. Flood coverage for storms is separate and is not the same as coverage for water damage.
With auto insurance, damage to a vehicle during a tropical storm or hurricane is covered under most comprehensive policies. People who carry only liability coverage will have to pay for any damages on their own. Comprehensive coverage provides compensation for damages resulting from falling objects, flooding and wind.
Preparing For Hurricane Season
The first step is reviewing insurance coverage. Sit down with your agent and go over your existing coverage, deductibles and exclusions. If necessary, update the policy's provisions. For example, a couple may have spent $50,000 on improvements and remodeling since the policy was created. It is important to discuss these improvements with an agent. The agent will add any specific new inclusions to the policy to ensure adequate compensation if a hurricane causes extensive damage. Also, it is important to declare valuable jewelry, art, furs and firearms. These high-end items can easily be damaged during a severe hurricane. However, they require specific coverage.
Inventory your belongings. If your home is destroyed, many of your valuables will likely be damaged beyond repair, and perhaps beyond recognition. To ensure prompt reimbursement for your lost or destroyed property, it's important to inventory and photograph each valuable item. Tip: Don't store the data at home - you don't want your data destroyed by the same disaster that destroyed your home and property.
When insurance is updated, the next step is preparing the property and emergency plans. To learn more about hurricane preparedness and insurance, discuss concerns with an agent.
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