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Nicole Mahrt Ganley
916-440-1116 or cell 916-616-5855
FOR RELEASE ON RECEIPT
March 6, 2014
PCI Reminds Americans to Adjust Their Clocks,
Change Their Batteries, and Check Their Insurance
CHICAGO – Early Sunday
morning as daylight saving time begins, it will be time to change your clocks
and “spring forward.” This twice-yearly ritual of adjusting the clocks serves
as an excellent reminder to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and
carbon monoxide detectors. It also serves as a good opportunity to do an
insurance check-up, make sure your insurance coverage is up to date and you are
prepared for any unforeseen catastrophes, says the Property Casualty Insurers
Association of America (PCI).
“We all get busy with
life and forget the little things that can make a difference like changing your
smoke detector battery or calling your agent or insurer to update your
insurance policy,” said Christopher Hackett, PCI director of personal lines
policy. “The time change is a good reminder to do these little things that can
make your apartment, home and family ready should an unexpected emergency
occur. For renters it is important to keep in mind that a landlord’s homeowners
policy only covers the repair of the home, it does not cover the renter’s
personal property. Those in the rental market should remember to purchase
affordable renters insurance to protect all their personal possessions.”
Preparing for an
emergency is more than physically preparing by clearing brush, cleaning rain
gutters and storing water and food in the garage. It is important to financially
prepare for the unexpected. Take simple steps like making a home inventory.
This will speed up the recovery process should a fire or storm cause damage.
prepared is just as important as physical preparedness,” said Hackett. “In
2013, severe thunderstorms alone resulted in more than $10 billion in insured
losses. While we all think that a catastrophic event will never happen to us,
we never really know when a disaster or significant loss will occur. This is
what insurance is for and taking the time to make a quick call to your
insurance company or agent can ensure you’re properly covered.”
- Understand Your Policy - The typical homeowners
policy covers damage caused by wind, fire and lightning. Comprehensive
auto insurance generally covers damage or destruction to a vehicle from a
- Maintain Adequate Insurance − Homeowners
should be certain to have their dwelling adequately insured because once a
wild fire turns into a fire storm there is little that can be done to halt
its path of destruction. Be sure to maintain a homeowners insurance
policy with adequate policy limits so you can rebuild that home if there
is a fire.
- Review Policy Regularly − Review your
property insurance policy with your insurance company or agent. If you
have recently remodeled or built a new addition onto your property, be
sure to increase the amount of protection to cover the upgraded materials
or expanded square footage.
- Understand the Types of Insurance Policies - Learn
the difference between a replacement cost policy, which generally provides
for the repair or replacement of damaged covered personal property items,
and an actual cash value policy, that will only provide reimbursement for
the depreciated value of the covered personal property item. Decide which
type of policy best fits your needs.
- Understand Construction Costs and Building Codes -
It is important to consider the current construction costs for building
new homes in your neighborhood. If your home is older, ask if your policy
includes coverage for building code upgrades. Many insurers offer an
optional enhanced replacement cost endorsement. This endorsement typically
adds an additional 25 percent to the coverage limit for your dwelling.
Even if the homeowners policy has an inflation guard that adjusts to
increase the dwelling coverage limit, check to make sure that the amount
is adequate to rebuild.
- Keep an Inventory − To speed the claims
processing along, keep an inventory of your personal items and photograph
or videotape them for documentation purposes. Be specific; document how
many TVs, computers, sets of towels and sheets you have. The more detail
you have, the easier recovery will be. Keep receipts for major purchases
and keep records of the age, current value, make, model and serial number
of your personal property. Keep your inventory and a copy of your policy
at another location.
- Talk with your insurance company or agent about
additional coverages such as flood insurance or earthquake insurance. The
standard homeowners policy does not cover losses that result from floods
or earthquakes due to the unpredictability and widespread catastrophic
nature of these events. In addition it is important to note that the
standard homeowners policy also does not cover landslides, mud slides or
sink holes. However, coverage for these events may be available as an
endorsement to the homeowners policy or under a separate policy.
PCI is composed of more
than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of
insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $195 billion
in annual premium, 39 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member
companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent
of the homeowners market, 37 percent of the commercial property and liability
market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.