There are many ways to be prepared for an emergency in your home, but have you considered how your insurance and home safety play a part in preparedness? Whether you experience a burglary, fire, or flood in your home, you’ll likely have damage to your home and personal property. Insurance makes a recovery from these tragedies more possible. Even if you think you’re totally covered with your current insurance and home safety, keep these things in mind.
Homes are such a large investment that insurance is an important part of helping to protect yourself from major losses. Homeowners insurance helps protect your home in many instances of emergency. From burglary to damage from wind or hail, home insurance allows you to recoup losses when your home and property are damaged or stolen. From 2012 to 2016, nearly 6 percent of insured homes had a claim and the average claim was $10,592, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
Even if you already have home insurance, it’s important to periodically review your coverage. Review what is covered to verify that you are not underinsured, which is one of the most common and costly insurance mistakes according to this Forbes.com article.
A 2016 poll found that only 41 percent of renters had renters or tenants insurance according to the I.I.I. Renters often believe that the landlord is responsible for insurance or that renters insurance is too expensive. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners finds both statements to be myths:
“If you live in a rented apartment, house or condominium, your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your personal property in the event that it is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire, theft, or other unexpected circumstances. The premiums for renters insurance average between $15 and $30 per month depending on the location and size of the rental unit and the policyholder’s possessions.”
You can often bundle renters insurance with your auto insurance to help keep costs low. Investing in renters insurance can help you receive compensation for your personal belongings in case of an emergency and can help protect you from personal liability in the case of an injury occurring in your apartment.
Flooding isn’t covered under standard homeowners or renter’s insurance. According to floodsmart.gov, an inch of water in your Home Security can cause $25,000 worth of damage. Since flooding is the most common natural disaster in the U.S., you can be flooded even if you don’t live in an area that is typically prone to flooding. On average, flood insurance claims pay out $30,000 which can make a huge difference if you’re trying to recover from a flood.
If you’re not sure how prone your area is to floods, you can take advantage of the FEMA Flood Map Service Center and enter your address to understand the risk in your area. There are many factors that may cause a flood even if a current flood map doesn’t put you at a high risk. Chances are a flood in your home will be accompanied by other emergencies. Flood insurance helps you have one less thing to worry about during an insurance. Talk to your homeowners insurance agent about adding flood insurance for your home. FEMA also provides help through the NFIP Help Center if you call 1-800-427-4661.
Homeowners and renters in earthquake-prone areas should also look into special Earthquake insurance as earthquakes are often not covered by traditional policies.