It’s scary to think about, but if extreme weather such as a flood, hurricane or wildfire were to damage your home, would you be prepared for it?
Extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, according to a 60-member federal advisory committee’s National Climate Assessment, due to the changing climate. You can’t predict when disaster will strike – but you can be ready.
The first step is to have homeowner’s insurance.
Water, or sewer, backup occurs when water is pushed into your home through pipes or drainage systems, leaving an icky mess not covered by many homeowner policies. Consider purchasing water backup coverage from an insurance provider as well.
In addition, know that flood damage is typically not covered by a standard home policy.
No matter what coverage you have, it’s not going to help unless you know how it works.
Check out these tips to prepare for extreme weather events:
- Review your policy before disaster strikes. Know what’s covered, how to proceed and what you can expect at least once a year, so you aren’t surprised in an already-stressful situation. Know exactly what is covered and, more importantly, what isn’t.
- Purchase flood insurance early. Most NFIP policies have a 30-day waiting period – so purchasing it after the disaster is too late.
- Document everything. Keep a log of all your losses and take photos of any and all damage – before you or volunteers start removing debris.
- Act quickly. In addition to insurance policies limiting how long you have to file a claim, companies are most likely going to be inundated with claims following large-scale natural disasters.
- Enlist professionals. An expert, such as a storm repair contractor, knows what to look for and will thoroughly assess your home.
- Watch out for scammers. Many scammers capitalize on catastrophe by offering quick, cheap repairs. This may seem like a godsend in a stressful time, but you still need to do your research. Take advice and reviews from trusted sources. Look for licensed, insured and experienced contractors.
- Take steps on your own. Insurance claims take a long time to process, review and make repairs. After documenting everything, do what you can, such as tarping your roof, cleaning a wet basement and boarding up holes. Make sure to document the steps you take to protect your property, too.
Now is the perfect time to review and update your homeowner’s insurance policy, giving you one less thing to worry about in a tragic situation.