CHICAGO- When daylight saving time ends this Sunday, not only is it a good time to change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, but homeowners, renters, and business owners should also do a quick financial check-up. According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), with winter weather on the horizon, fall back is also a good time to review your insurance coverage.
“You never know what Old Man Winter will bring, but you can take a few steps now to prepare,” said Christopher Hackett, PCI’s senior director of personal lines policy. “Stormy winter weather can cause flooding, another important reason to read your policy to see exactly what is covered, and what is excluded.”
Flooding is the most frequent and costly natural disaster, but too few Americans have flood insurance. Flood insurance is not typically covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy. It is available as a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Once you purchase a NFIP policy, there is a 30 day waiting period for coverage to take effect.
Hackett added, “A slight increase in temperature following a snow storm can result in flooding, and it only takes a few inches of water to cause thousands of dollars in damage. When you roll the clocks back this weekend, take the time to review your insurance coverage. It could save you significant time and money.”
PCI’s Fall Back Checklist:
1.) Change your clocks back one hour Saturday night before going to bed.
2.) Review your homeowners insurance policy. Now is the time to make sure your policy is up to date and includes the right amount of coverage. Double check that your policy accurately reflects your home’s square footage. Talk to your agent to make sure you have an adequate amount of insurance.
3.) Keep a home inventory of each room in your house. Use your smartphone to videotape your home and garage.
4.) Change batteries in fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors; make sure they are functioning correctly. If you don’t have one already, this is a good time to invest in a fire extinguisher.
5.) Prepare your home for winter months. This is the time to replace your furnace filters; check pipes under the sinks to make sure they have access to heat; ensure leaves are out of gutters and trees are trimmed away from power lines.