Storm Recovery and Homeowners Insurance

Storm Recovery and Homeowners Insurance

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Hurricane season and your home insurance policy.

Following an extraodinarily active and deadly spring tornado season, homeowners across the Gulf and Atlantic coasts are keeping a wary eye on the tropics. That’s because one or more storms are likely to hit the U.S. mainland, bringing along with it high winds, floods and power outages. Hurricane season is here and homeowners should make sure that their insurance policies are sufficient to cover potential damages before disaster strikes.

Damaged Homes

As a homeowner, how should you respond to damage to your home? There are two things you can do right away: notify your insurance agent and secure your property from further loss. This means that the oak tree that took out your sunroom should be removed as soon as possible and steps taken to keep the elements out of your house even if you haven’t heard back from your insurer. Simply take pictures of the damage and keep your receipts reports NewsNet5.com.

Be mindful that your neighborhood will be brimming with opportunists – people who want to remove trees and make repairs on the spot. However, deal only with licensed contractors, preferably with people that you know. While homeowners will want their homes restored as soon as possible, securing the property first is essential. Contact your city’s building department to confirm that contractors who want to work on your home are licensed and make sure that whoever sets foot on your property has an insurance certificate and is bonded. You may want to contact your agent before a storm hits to find out if you need to make changes to an umbrella policy.

Insurance Coverage

Who pays for what damage is sometimes a question that is raised. Regardless of who owned the tree that fell on your house, your insurance company will pay for the damage reports WHPTV.com. If the tree belonged to your neighbor, her insurance may pay for the deductible. Thus, two separate insurers could cover the costs associated with removing that oak tree that squashed your sunroom, with your insurer covering the bulk of that expense.

What if said oak tree falls on your car? In this situation, the insurer covering your car will pay, provided you have sufficient comprehensive insurance coverage. So, review your auto insurance policy to verify coverage amount. If possible, garage your vehicle to minimize problems. If said oak tree falls on your garage and destroys your car, then your home insurance will pay for your home and your auto insurance will cover your car. Yes, if a neighbor’s tree is involved, you may be able to get her insurer to pay the deductibles.

Public Property

Lastly, in some communities, the town may handle the removal of trees that fall across the road or land on public property. This may be the case even if your town does not have a shade tree department, but you won’t know that for sure unless your local government verifies same.

See AlsoSayLending: Insurance Coverage

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Categories: Insurance

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".