Chatham County’s Hurricane PrepareAthon Week Wednesday Tasks
Day 3 of Chatham County’s Hurricane PrepareAthon is Insurance Review Day. Today, we are encouraging residents to call their insurance company and ask for an insurance check-up. This check-up will help ensure they have enough homeowners/renter’s insurance to repair or even replace their home and/or the items in their home. Residents should inquire about car or boat coverage as well. Standard homeowners and renter’s insurance does not cover flooding; therefore, it important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that could impact Chatham County.
Listed below are some tips to ensure you are properly covered:
Inventory Your Home: Regardless of the type of coverage you buy, maintaining a detailed inventory of your property's contents will assist you if a disaster strikes. Your inventory will help you prove the value of what you owned, which could speed your claim processing, and will provide documentation for tax deductions you can claim for your losses. You can take photos or videos to help you record your belongings, but be sure to also write down descriptions, including year, make, and model numbers, where appropriate. Be sure to store your inventory somewhere it can be easily accessed after a disaster and put a copy of it in your evacuation kit.
Understand Your Policy: Most homeowner and renter insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. Talk with your insurance professional if you are at risk for flooding or mudflows, including flooding caused by hurricanes. As we saw during Matthew, many insurance companies have a “Named Storm Clause”. Now is the time to determine if your insurance policy has this clause. Basic flood insurance, provided through FEMA, covers structural damage to your home or business building, including your air conditioner, furnace, and water heater. Flood insurance also covers associated cleanup costs. Home and business owners can purchase additional coverage for the building's contents. For more information, visit floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-4FLOODS.
Know Your Settlement Options: Familiarize yourself with the settlement types available for your dwelling and personal property and choose the one that best meets your needs. The cost of your policy and the claim amount you receive will vary depending on the type of settlement you choose.
Visit ready.gov/prepare to learn more about specific risks and what protective measures to take before, during, and after a disaster.
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.
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.
If you are interested in purchasing flood insurance, or you have questions about what is covered with a flood insurance policy, visit FEMA.gov.