Homeowner’s Insurance & Natural Disasters: 5 Steps to Make Sure You’re Covered
Did you know that in 2012, the cost of 11 separate weather and climate disasters in the United States totaled $139 billion – the second costliest year in history? Countless families around the nation were impacted by these events. Sadly, many of these families learned unexpectedly that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover damage from certain natural disasters.
A basic homeowner’s insurance policy will reimburse you in the event of certain natural disasters and sudden occurrences. Known as “named perils,” these typically include fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, explosion, theft, vandalism, and damage from various accidents. Many common natural disasters are excluded from the basic homeowner’s insurance policy. Unless you have a special endorsement or policy to specifically cover earthquakes and hurricanes, you will not be covered. Flood insurance is also not included in a basic policy and must be purchased separately.
Here are five simple steps to ensure your home and possessions are properly insured and documented.
- Review the amounts and extent of existing policies to ensure you have the coverage required for you and your family for all possible hazards. If coverage is not adequate, purchase additional coverage to make sure you’re protected.
- Take pictures of possessions prior to a disaster and after a disaster, so you can show the difference. Understand how to report damages to your insurance provider.
- Be aware that insurance policies sometimes take as long as 30 days before they pay out. Make sure you are covered for the period that meets the threat.
- Choose a safe place away from your home, such as a safety deposit box, to store insurance policies, property records, deeds and other important documents.
- Create a one-page document with your insurance policy and account numbers, insurer’s phone number, and your bank and mortgage company phone numbers in case of emergency.
It’s difficult to think about losing your home due to a natural disaster. Not having proper insurance coverage will only make the loss more traumatic. At Huff ‘N Puff, we value the safety and security of our neighbors in Albany, Troy, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady and throughout the Hudson Valley. For assistance with home improvements now or in the future, call (518) 688-1624 if you live in the Capital Region or (845) 245-2630 if you live in the Hudson Valley Region.