You may not live in a region prone to hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes, but natural disasters, severe weather (or even the unexpected plumbing disaster) can strike virtually anywhere. Perhaps the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma has you wondering what you would do if you lost your home to flooding, fire or some other catastrophic event.
The Department of Homeland Security recommends that every family make a disaster preparedness plan. While knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is a good place to start, there are other things to consider.
A survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows that fewer than 25 percent of homeowners consider changing weather patterns and natural disasters when determining their insurance requirements.
Consumer Reports states that more than half of all homeowners are underinsured by about 20 percent. The median home price in the United States is approximately $300,000 (20 percent of that would be $60,000!). If your home and belongings were destroyed, would your current insurance provide enough to cover it all?
There is no time like the present to go over your current policy. These tips will help you determine whether you need to make any changes.
1. Look At Your Home’s Description
Review details of your house in your policy to make sure they are correct. Check info such as the year built, square footage and structural materials. Make note of any updates you have made.
2. Don’t Forget Contents
Think about the items inside your home. Have you invested in any costly purchases, such as jewelry or other valuables? Will your current policy pay to replace what you own?
3. Get an Updated Quote
Instead of a renewal quote, ask your agency for a new policy quote, which provides more updated information. Ask for a copy of your reconstruction valuation report at the same time. Consider obtaining additional quotes from other companies or brokers, as well.
4. Consider Flood Insurance
In most cases, homeowners policies do not offer flood insurance. Even if you don’t live in a flood-prone area, this coverage can protect you from unexpected water damage.
Get in the habit of performing an insurance checkup every year or two. It only takes a little time and effort to make sure your home is properly protected.