One thing people sometimes don’t do often enough is review their insurance coverage. You really should review your coverage every year. This weekend, I suggest you pull your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy and your flood insurance policy to confirm that what you have is sufficient to replace your home, any other covered structures on your property, and your contents.
What I Did
After seeing the devastation that Harvey brought to Texas, my husband and I decided that we wanted to increase the flood insurance on our home by $50,000 and our contents by $20,000. Fortunately, we typically pay in September for our policy that renews in November, so we were able to simply elect to increase our coverage and pay a slightly increased premium last month. We reviewed our homeowner’s insurance, and it is sufficient, so we are covered. Then I put those insurance records back in our waterproof, fire-resistant file safe.
Even if you aren’t in an area that is at risk for hurricanes–or even floods–bad weather happens. Pull your insurance policies–request copies if you need to–and read and review your coverage. Is it sufficient to cover your home, structures, and contents in the event of a disaster? Consider the cost of making changes if you need to.
When you’re finished reviewing your policies, put them in a binder where you can grab them if you need to evacuate. I’d suggest then putting them in a watersafe, fire-resistant safe.
If you don’t have flood insurance, consider whether you need it. My house is three feet off-grade, my house is on a hill, and I’m not in a flood zone, but I pay a little over $500 a year for flood insurance anyway. We do live on the coast. For the small cost we pay, I’d rather pay it than need it and not have it. Your mileage may vary. Just keep in mind that if you do live on the coast and you wait until you need it, you’re still subject to a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect. And if you need it and don’t have it and your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover floods, you’ll be stuck figuring out how to pay for major damages. My former boss had multiple clients who spent thousands of dollars out of pocket to repair flood-damaged homes, and I hate to see anyone take such a financial hit.
How Did You Do?
Did you review your policies? Did you make changes? Let me hear from you in the comments!