If you’ve watched the news recently, you’ve noticed that intense storms are becoming more regular, with some catastrophic results. Whether the issue is the wind damage from a hurricane, water damage due to torrential rains, or the property damage caused by a wildfire, weather-related damage is a growing concern.
The increase in severe weather means it’s imperative that you review you homeowner’s insurance coverages before it’s too late. Ask yourself these 4 questions to get started:
1. Does your current coverage fully respond to weather issues?
Depending on where you live, you may want to check for the following:
- Hurricane deductible: Does your homeowner’s policy specifically mention hurricanes and windstorms? If your policy provides “all risk” coverage, then physical damage to your home caused by a hurricane or windstorm may be a covered loss. However, a special deductible may apply in lieu of your standard deductible.
- Wildfire services: If you live in a state prone to wildfires, check to see if your homeowner’s insurance covers damage caused by wildfire, or if your insurance company has extra services that can protect you.
- Flood policy: Most typical homeowner’s policies don’t cover flood damage on their own. You may be able to purchase a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or through a private insurer.
2. How quickly will your insurer respond in extreme weather?
The true test of any insurance company is how it responds if you have a claim. Know that premium insurance carriers like Chubb are known for responding to claims within 24 hours, and once approved, can issue payment within 48.
3. Is your insurance company financially strong enough to address a catastrophe?
In a major disaster, insurance companies may need to pay many claims at once. Can your insurer handle that? It’s not a question the average consumer knows the answer to, but luckily there’s a group of five independent agencies who rate the financial strength of insurance companies. Make sure to check yours and see where it ranks.
4. Does your current coverage have a long term premium control strategy?
Insurance isn’t a one-time purchase, but something that you’ll keep as long as you own your home. That’s why it’s important to think long-term about the costs of your premium and deductible. Insurance companies may raise your premium if you make a claim, so you’ll need to calculate whether raising your deductible and paying out-of-pocket more often will be more cost efficient than a higher annual premium. Your insurance agent can make the best recommendation to fit your needs.
While you can’t control if you’re in the path of a storm, you can control the outcome by making sure you’re properly covered.
Article By: Steven Shepard