How to prepare for a natural disaster by knowing what you have covered by insurance

Natural disasters can be scary because there’s nothing you can do to stop them. The only ways to really prepare for them are to have adequate insurance coverage and to keep an eye on the weather so you can try to protect your belongings if you see a potentially harmful weather pattern heading your way. Take both of these measures to prevent yourself from significant financial setbacks if you are affected by a natural disaster.

Assess your insurance coverage

Each insurance policy has specific clauses that outline how they treat damage sustained by natural disasters. It’s important to know what is covered by a standard policy so you can supplement with additional coverage for anything that is not covered. For example, many types of flooding are not part of a standard home insurance policy, so you need separate flood insurance.

When you’re shopping for insurance coverage for your home or vehicle, the best way to do this is to compare quotes online. That way you can see exactly what is included in each policy and know how much you will pay for each type of insurance. Plus, you will also want to make sure all of your belongings are covered in your home insurance. You may need to pay extra to add a rider for expensive items, such as jewelry, art, or electronics, so they will be covered as well. Compare quotes on these riders as well to know the true cost of a policy and pick the best one for your needs.

Prevent damage if possible

Even with great insurance coverage, your ideal situation is to not have any of your belongings damaged at all. That way you don’t have to pay the deductible or deal with the inconvenience of having repairs done to your home or vehicle. Therefore, be attentive to weather forecasts so you know if there’s a potential for tornadoes, hurricanes, hailstorms, and other predictable natural disasters.

When a weather event has been forecasted, do what you can to protect your belongings. For example, if there is going to be a hailstorm, park your vehicle in a garage or carport to keep it from getting damaged by the hail. You can also board up your windows in advance of a strong hurricane to decrease the chance that they will be broken. These preventative measures are just an additional layer of protection so you’re less likely to need to make a claim on your insurance policy.

Why Liability Insurance is Required in Most States

Chances are, if you live in the U.S., you are required by your state’s laws to purchase minimum car insurance protection in order to own or operate a motor vehicle. In most states, minimum insurance laws require that drivers only purchase liability coverage, rather than a more comprehensive policy. There are several reasons why minimum liability insurance is required.

Protecting Other Drivers

Liability insurance is required to protect other drivers from any bodily injury or property damage losses that you cause. In most states, you are legally responsible for the harm and loss that you cause another person, and auto insurance helps guarantee that victims have access to the medical treatments, auto repairs and property replacement they deserve following an accident.

Protecting You

Minimum liability insurance not only protects victims of an accident you cause, but it also protects you. Regardless of whether you have auto insurance, you can still be held legally responsible for the losses you cause another person. If you do not have insurance, a victim may sue you directly, which could result in a liquidation or seizure of your personal assets if you do not have the cash to pay a judgment out of pocket.

Considerations

It is never a good idea to drive a vehicle without adequate insurance coverage. Unfortunately, even state minimum coverage may not be enough to protect you in the event of an accident. Talk to your insurer about the cost of increasing your coverage to provide full coverage protection for both yourself and others you are liable for. And as always, be sure to shop and compare premiums to be sure you are getting the most coverage at the most affordable rates. The rates you pay for state minimum coverage at one provider may buy you much more coverage through another.

Is the Cheapest Type of Car Insurance Right for You?

Is the Cheapest Type of Car Insurance Right for You?Saving money on your insurance premiums is wise. Buying insufficient coverage just to save premium cost is not. Auto insurance coverage is not inexpensive and seems to consistently confuse shoppers. Those few remaining U.S. states that lack an insurance coverage requirement have financial standards that drivers must meet. Often, car owners need more financial assets than those who simply buy adequate insurance coverage in those states that accept no insurance protection.

However, if you are focused on obtaining the cheapest auto insurance available, you have some options. Understand that, in most U.S. states, insurance “follows the car.” Therefore, should you opt for the least expensive type of auto insurance, liability coverage, you may only be fully covered when you are driving your insured vehicle. Should you borrow a vehicle from a friend or family member and suffer an accident, the first line of defense will be the insurance (or lack thereof) on the borrowed car. Should you be deemed “at fault,” however, your personal liability coverage will probably be required to reimburse your friend’s company for paid claims.

The cheapest type of auto insurance coverage is liability. Do not misunderstand this statement, as liability insurance is not inherently “cheap.” Minimum state law typically requires, at least, liability coverage. Individual states determine he minimum limits each driver must carry. Common liability minimum coverages are in the $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident (regardless of the number of injured persons involved), $10,000 property damage and around $10,000-$20,000 uninsured (or underinsured) motorist coverage.

Although the cheapest car insurance coverage, minimum liability policies are often insufficient for many drivers who have more valuable assets (homes, boats, bank accounts, etc.) to protect than the least expensive insurance can cover. Further, neglecting to purchase collision and comprehensive, e.g., theft, coverage will save you premium dollars. However, should your car suffer physical damage, broken windows or theft, costs to repair or replace your vehicle will come from your pocket and personal funds.

Liability-only coverage will be the cheapest coverage in all U.S. states. However, it may not protect you to the level you want or need. Yet, it will help. Something (liability insurance) is far better than nothing. Even if you seek the cheapest car insurance, shop via the Internet. Good options are often those independent agents with interactive websites that allow you to shop multiple companies and receive several quotes for identical protection.