Published February 06, 2017
As Tropical Storm Isaac threatens to accelerate into a Category 2 hurricane targeting the Gulf Coast, it's a reminder to homeowners in areas exposed to such destructive storms that they should always have measures in place to protect their homes from such severe weather.
Analytics firm CoreLogic said Isaac alone threatens nearly 270,000 homes worth a total of $36 billion, most of them in already storm-battered New Orleans.
Batten Down The Hatches
In the event that a hurricane does hit, make sure your property is ready to weather the storm by following these tips from ACE Private Risk Services.
Make Sure You're Covered
In order to safeguard your home's value, you should make sure that you have homeowners insurance, flood insurance, and, in some cases, wind insurance.
Homeowners insurance usually covers wind damage and other hurricane-related losses. However, in some coastal areas especially prone to hurricanes, wind coverage may not be part of a policy, and you may have to purchase wind insurance from a different carrier. There is usually a deductible amount for named-storm wind damage, such as 2 percent of the value of the home, Tomlinson said.
Flood insurance covers water damage and can be obtained through the government's National Flood Insurance Program. The government insurance, which has a $2,000 deductible for high-risk areas, may cover up to $250,000 in property damage and $100,000 in damage to personal belongings, depending on the premium you choose to pay. To receive coverage for damage beyond those two amounts, you can sign up for a supplementary policy with a private insurance company like ACE.
To make sure that you get the most protection out of your policy, you should be sure to take inventory of and document your belongings and property before the onset of a storm.
Use Know Your Stuff, a free insurance software provided by the Insurance Information Institute, to help efficiently take inventory and store records of your belongings. Doing so will enable you to speed the claims process and maximize your settlement if some of your possessions are damaged.
Filing a Claim
If your home sustains damage and you have insurance to cover it, you may contact your service provider to file a claim. To do this, you must provide evidence of the damage to your home and possessions by taking photographs of the property damage and making a list of damaged items with their date of purchase, value and, ideally, receipts.
When you and your insurer agree on the amount of damages, you should receive payment.