Do You Have Enough Homeowners Insurance To Handle What Mother Nature Does Next?

Written by , February 13, 2012

Do You Have Enough Homeowners Insurance To Handle What Mother Nature Does NextRegardless of whether or not believe in the phenomenon of “global warming,” it’s impossible to ignore the recent increase in significant weather events. All across the country, the past several years have seen weather related destruction in many different forms. Hurricanes have battered the east coast, droughts and wildfires have destroyed millions of acres in the southwest and west, and extreme flooding has occurred in many places throughout the country.

Apart from loss of life, the most significant damage from this crazy weather is damage to homes. It’s therefore vitally important for you to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance in case one of these weather events happens where you live.

Here is some homeowner insurance advice you should follow to see if you have sufficient homeowners insurance coverage.

  • Check Your Coverage Amount. The first thing to check is that you have an adequate amount of coverage. Even though the value of many homes has fallen in recent years, if you first purchased your homeowner insurance many decades ago then you might not have enough coverage since the value of your home has possibly increased dramatically since that time (even if it’s declined in value over the past few years). If necessary, have changes made to your policy or get a new one altogether.
  • Consider New Weather Events. You should also verify that the scope of your coverage will cover any events that now seem a little more likely to occur. For example, many homeowners do not have coverage or flood damage because they are homes lie outside of the “hundred year” floodplain. The problem is that many parts of the country are now seeing flooding in areas that rarely (or never) flooded before. In fact, some cities and municipalities are revising their floodplain maps to take into account the new weather patterns. Similarly, you might live in a forest area that in prior decades was always green and lush, but which in recent years seems to experience more dry weather periods. So you must make sure your policy covers any fire related damage.
  • Take Into Account Home Improvements. Another situation that sometimes trips up homeowners is when their insurance policy does not reflect any improvements they may have made to their home since first getting coverage. Finishing your basement, adding bathrooms or updating the kitchen all need to be reflected in your homeowner insurance policy.
  • Verify Your Type of Coverage. In addition, make sure that your policy covers all types of damage that may occur as a result of a storm or other weather event. After the hurricanes that devastated the New Orleans area a few years ago, many insurance companies classified the damage to homes as “flood damage” and not “hurricane damage” – the former being a result of a storm surge while the latter relates to damage from the strong hurricane winds. This caught many homeowners off guard and finding that they lacked adequate coverage.
  • Regardless of your personal views on global warming, it’s impossible to deny that we are seeing increasing numbers of damaging weather events. It’s imperative to make sure that your homeowner coverage is enough to cover the damage that those weather events can cause.

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