A disaster can wipe out your entire house – dwelling and contents. One of the best ways of recovering from a natural disaster is to file a homeowner's insurance claim, but this will only help you if you were fully insured. Here are four things you should do if you want your homeowner's insurance to shield you from natural disasters:
Understand the Exclusions
Standard homeowners insurance provides coverage for some disasters and excludes others. Therefore, before buying a policy (or even if you already have one), understand what it covers and what it doesn't so that you can buy additional coverage for the exclusions. Don't make any assumption here; there may be similarities between different insurers, but there is also a great variation on what they cover. Scrutinize the fine print and ask your insurer or agent as many questions as possible about the exclusions.
Understand the Common Risks in Your Area
Standard homeowner's insurance coverage varies by geographical area. In most cases, coverage doesn't extend to disasters that are highly common in an area. For example, hurricane damage is usually included in standard home insurance coverage, but it may be required to buy separate coverage for it if your area experiences frequent hurricanes. Therefore, identify the disasters common in your area and check if your insurer covers them, if not, you may have to buy separate coverage for those common disasters.
Prepare for the Worst
Home insurance is one of those things where you need to prepare for the worst even while hoping for the best. Don't be gullible; don't assume that you are safe just because the wildfires frequent in your area have never reached as far as your house or because the annual floods haven't caused significant damage for the last decade or so. Imagine the worst case scenario and ensure your home is covered for it.
Know Which Type of Coverage You Have
Lastly, you ought to know which type of coverage you have; does it guarantee a replacement cost for your house, protect you against inflation or promise to replace your stuff? These are important questions you must answer if you want your insurance coverage to bring you back to your pre-disaster status in case of damage. Otherwise, your claim settlement money will not be enough to cover your losses.
Homeowner's insurance is one type of coverage you should not buy without an agent's input. Consultation with an agent will help you understand your risks and exclusions as well as the common disasters in your area so that you can make an informed purchase. Contact a company like Coast Comp Insurance Agency to get started.