(StatePoint) The official Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, and the National Weather Service is predicting between 12 to 17 total named storms. The best advice for homeowners who want to be better prepared? Proactively think about what can be done ahead of time — as well as after the fact — so that you and your family are able to withstand severe weather and quickly recover from it.
“Every day, our team speaks with homeowners needing guidance on their insurance and ways to help keep their family and property safe. Customers typically ask our loss consultation team about water damage, deductibles and what might be covered under their insurance policies,” said Jim Wucherpfennig, vice president of Property Claim at Travelers, a property casualty insurer that assists homeowners in planning for and recovering from hurricanes. “Knowing policy terms and conditions can help alleviate some of a homeowner’s anxiety that accompanies a storm.”
Wucherpfennig suggests taking the following steps to be ready for severe weather:
Before a storm:
• Review your policy: Know your insurance coverage limits and check to see that your coverage amounts will allow you to repair or rebuild your property based on current costs.
• Keep good records: Store your policies and insurance contact information in a safe place should your property be damaged and you want to make a claim.
• Create an inventory of personal belongings: Capture video or write a list of items and store it with any important photos in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box. Consider purchasing extra coverage for computers, jewelry, art and other expensive items that could be damaged or destroyed in a storm.
• Consider purchasing flood insurance: This is a separate policy and can cover water damage due to flooding resulting from tropical storms and hurricanes.
After a storm:
• Make temporary repairs: Consider hiring a vendor to board up windows, tarp the roof, clean up hazardous spills and debris or take other steps to reduce the possibility of additional property damage.
• Separate and inventory damaged personal property: Create a list of any damaged contents and include a description of each item with details such as the name of the brand and manufacturer; age, place and date of purchase, and other pertinent facts. Be sure to include photographs, video, or personal property inventories you may already have available.
• Maintain accurate records: Keep detailed notes of your expenses and save bills and receipts from your temporary repairs.
For more information on how to get your home and your finances ready for severe weather, visit Travelers.com.
While no one likes to think about worst-case scenarios, being prepared before a storm, and having a plan for its aftermath, can help your family get back on its feet faster.