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.

Understanding What is Covered on your Homeowners Policy for Natural Disasters

Although you know that your home insurance policy is there to cover damages and disasters of all types, it does not cover every single circumstance. Natural disasters are one of those insurance areas that can get rather confusing because policies will cover many situations yet others are not covered at all. It is very important to know precisely what natural disaster will be covered, and what won’t, so you can prepare for any eventuality.

The natural disasters covered in your insurance policy are called "Perils." Although there is variation among insurance providers, the following list of natural disasters are normally covered by the average homeowners policy.

-Damage resulting from smoke or fires

-Damage from lightning striking

-Damage from snow or hail

-Damage from windstorms

-Damage from explosions unrelated to your actions

-Damage your home sustains from being struck by a vehicle or aircraft

-Damage resulting from objects that descend from above (example: items falling from an aircraft)

-Damage from certain types of flooding (example: malfunction of an auto fire sprinkler)

-Damage to your heating, plumbing, or air systems if it happens because of severe weather

After reading the list above you may think that your standard homeowners coverage will be enough in a natural disaster, however it is vital that you think about the circumstances that the list does not include. Although your policy may be different, the simple fact is that the majority of homeowners policies do not cover some of the most major natural disasters.

Consider the following natural disasters, and ask your agent if your homeowners policy covers them:

-Earthquakes

-Landslides

-Floods

-Hurricane damage

Of course, the list above are situations that you will hopefully never encounter in your lifetime, but it simply is not worth taking the risk. Any one of the natural disasters listed here could cause complete and total destruction of your home and your property — and if your policy doesn’t cover it you’d be left with no home and no way to start over again.

Just because your policy does not cover them doesn’t mean you can’t obtain coverage. Inquire about the possibility of adding "Riders" to your policy for a little extra policy fee. The coverage you’ll get with policy riders will really insure that you will be covered in all natural disaster situations.

Insurance 101: Home Inventory will Help You Know What You Own

If you are considering updating your home insurance policy, you need to make sure you know how much coverage you need for all of your personal belongings. Often, people forget to update their policy when they buy new things or get rid of old items. Making sure you have the protection you need when a disaster strikes will ensure you can get back on your feet quickly.

Taking a home inventory is the first step to identifying how much insurance coverage you need for your home. One of the easiest ways to do this is to go through each room of your home and write down all of the items that would need to be replaced if there was a flood, fire or other natural disaster. Some people even choose to take pictures or a video with their cell phone. This is a great idea if you want to make sure you can prove that you actually know what you own and the condition of the items before you make a claim. Remember to include collectibles and expensive jewelry when you are making your home inventory. Your home insurance is there to help you when you need it, but sometimes the stress of the situation will make it difficult to remember all of your items.

Before searching online for home insurance quotes, make sure you make a list of your home inventory and store it in a safe location. You may even want to give a copy of the list and pictures or video to a friend or family member. Next, you can calculate the value of your items and decide how much home insurance you need. You want to get life back to normal as quickly as possible after a disaster, so make sure your home protection is ready when you need it.

Protect Your Home by Comparing Insurance

Compare Insurance TodayDespite the harsh economic times our nation is experiencing, recent news reports show that almost nine out of every ten Americans still consider owning their own home to be an important part of the American dream. And when that dream becomes a reality for you, comparing insurance can help you get the best coverage for your home at the lowest rates possible. Instead of simply requesting a quote from a single insurance company, it’s best to start comparing insurance policies from a number of companies as soon as you’re considering buying a house. That way, you can factor the costs of insurance into the actual costs of owning your own home.

Homeowners insurance online quotes
Requesting homeowners insurance online quotes offers a quick and efficient way to get multiple quotes in a matter of minutes. With a number of accurate quotes in hand, you can take your time to review them and see exactly what kind of coverage each offers and what rates they charge. You can see if your home will have enough coverage in the event of a tornado or other natural disaster, and how much you’ll need to budget for flood insurance or additional insurance for your collection of antique clocks. Remember to read each quote carefully, because homeowners insurance online quotes vary wildly. So it’s possible that you could find one that only offers minimal coverage, while another can offer everything you want for the exact same price!

Are There Coastal Guidelines for Auto Insurance

For Residents of Coastal AreaThe coastline of the United States is one of the more difficult regions to obtain auto insurance. Homes that are located close to the ocean are often under strict guidelines that have to be met before the home can be insured. Cars on the other hand are a little different. A question that is often asked is whether cars have the same restrictions that homes are under?

The guidelines for car insurance are different from the guidelines for homes. Cars generally are subject to restrictions that are the same in most states with just a few variations. For instance, to insure a car the title must be in the name of the person seeking to insure it. A complete stranger cannot insure your car because they have no ownership in the car.

In some coastal states such as Florida there has to be a CARCO inspection in some of the counties in the state. A CARCO inspection is a visual inspection that has to be done to check for physical damage to a car before an insurance company will insure the car. Usually there is a span of time that the inspection has to be completed by or the insurance will be cancelled.

Insurance approval is based on different rules for each and every state. When purchasing new car insurance always ask your agent if there is anything special that needs to be completed so the insurance will remain in force. Be sure to check to see if there are restrictions on getting new insurance because of a recent disaster in the state. Sometimes insurance companies will stop selling for a period of time until a natural disaster has cleared up.

What Does Basic Homeowners Coverage Include?

If you’re about to buy your first home, you’re also probably about to get your first homeowner insurance policy. In fact, your mortgage broker will probably require you to get one so they know their investment is protected. Just like with every other form of insurance, it’s a smart idea to get some homeowner insurance quotes before you make your choice of insurance carrier.

When you compare home insurance quotesKnow What to Include?, you’ll notice a difference between the various insurance companies. In order to decide which of the homeowner insurance quotes is most appropriate for you, it’s helpful to have an overview of what basic homeowner insurance quotes coverage includes.

HO-2
The most common form is called HO-2. This is a broad homeowners policy that covers your house and its contents against sixteen perils including fire, lightning, hail or windstorms, vehicle or aircraft damage, smoke, vandalism, theft, falling objects, electric damage etc. Homeowner insurance quotes can include coverage for more perils, liability coverage, or special coverage for older homes. One of the most important things to understand about homeowner insurance quotes is that they should reflect the costs of replacing your home after damage—not the cash value. This way, if your home is completely destroyed in a fire or natural disaster, the costs of rebuilding are covered.

Another important thing to know is that basic homeowner insurance quotes usually give the cash value coverage of the contents of your home, which might not be the best option in the event that you have to replace any items. Remember to request homeowner insurance quotes that cover the replacement costs of your possessions so you’ll have resources to rebuild your life in the event of damages.