SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the Carolinas and Bahamas begin the cleanup from Hurricane Dorian and the peak of wildfire season nears, Americans from coast to coast need to ensure their financial lives are protected from calamity. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) offers important tips for residents to encourage financial preparedness for catastrophes.
The cost and frequency of natural disasters are increasing as more people live on the coast, and in flood, earthquake and wildfire-prone areas. These events can change lives in a moment, particularly if you are not well prepared to withstand the financial disruption that often accompanies a disaster. Insurance is the foundation to financial security and the best way to ensure there are no gaps in your protection is to talk with your insurance agent or company each year to go over your coverage.
APCIA’s Preparedness Month Tips
Be Financially Prepared – Do an Insurance Check up
Regularly communicate with your insurer or agent to review your homeowners or renters insurance policy. You should also update your policy after home renovations and additions.
Make a Home Inventory
Take pictures or make a video to create an inventory of your home’s contents. Keep receipts and other documentation.
Avoid being Underinsured
Ask your agent or insurance company key questions to prevent being underinsured such as do you need building code upgrade coverage, does your policy include an automatic inflation guard or extended replacement coverage.
Understand Your Policy
Understand what is covered under a replacement cost policy and an actual cash value policy. Be aware that you must purchase earthquake and flood coverage under separate policies.
Renters Need Insurance
Renters also need to protect their property with insurance. Consider bundling renters and auto coverage to save money.
Prepare for Power Outages, Evacuations, and Scams
As severe weather approaches fill up your gas tank, keep cash on hand, and have a plan for your pets in case you must evacuate. After an event, be aware of home repair scams.