August 1, 2014 1:15 am
1. Review Insurance Before You Experience a Loss
Read the Declarations (“Dec” or front) page of your policy, as it provides a useful summary. Review all policy documents and contact your insurance professional with any questions.
2. Understand Which Disasters Are Covered
Hurricanes, windstorms and tornadoes are covered by standard homeowners and renters policies. Floods and earthquakes are not covered—you must buy separate policies for these disasters. Coverage for flooding and storm surge is available from the National Flood Insurance Program and from a few private insurance companies. There is a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance to go into effect, so buy it now if you need it.
3. Have Enough Insurance
Get enough insurance to rebuild your home and replace your personal possessions. Know the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value coverage; understand your additional living expense coverage; and consider getting law and ordinance insurance so you can rebuild to current building codes.
It is equally important to have an up-to-date home inventory to ensure your personal belongings are properly covered and to help file a claim. If you are a renter and don’t have an insurance policy, now is the time to get one.
4. Understand Your Deductibles
A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket for a loss before the insurance coverage kicks in. Know the difference between a standard dollar deductible and wind or hurricane deductibles, and when they would be applied. This information is available on the Dec page.
5. Consider Special Coverages
You may want to get coverage for sewer backup if you live in an area with an aging infrastructure. Consider a floater or endorsement for expensive jewelry, artwork, musical instruments or collectibles.
Source: Insurance Information Institute
Published with permission from RISMedia.