When ensuring you are covered for the next disaster, insurance is the first line of defense; check your insurance coverage annually. Inventory your home or business regardless of the type of coverage, maintaining a detailed inventory of your property’s contents will assist you if disaster strikes.
Keep vital records in a safe place. Use waterproof and fireproof boxes and/or safes for storage, or use a bank deposit box. You can also photograph copies and keep them with an online site secured by a strong password.
Be aware of what your policy covers and what it doesn’t cover. Your mortgage lender may have minimum insurance requirements; however, be sure to carry enough coverage for your needs – which may be more than the minimum requirements.
Familiarize yourself with the process of filing a claim so you can get the process started as soon as possible after the disaster. These are some general suggestions for filing a claim:
- File claims promptly
- Save receipts
- Take pictures and video of damage
- Work with your adjuster
Lastly, be sure to ask your insurance provider if you qualify for any discounts. Some companies offer discounts for multiple policies, being a senior or retiree or being a long-term policy holder.
Here are some more tips to ensure you are covered:
- For additional information about preparing your home to better withstand disasters, as well as recovering, repairing, and rebuilding following disasters, visit the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety at disastersafety.org.
- To download a homeowner’s guide to natural disasters, including ways to reduce potential damages and premiums, visit flash.org/homeownersinsuranceguide.
- For information on insurance regulations in your state, contact your state insurance commission. A map linked to each state’s insurance commission website is available at naic.org/state_web_map.htm.
- For insurance-specific questions, visit the Insurance Information Institute at iii.org.