WEEK 1: Save Early for Disaster Costs
National Preparedness Month is an initiative designed to help Americans be prepared for any disaster that may come their way. Here in Southeast Texas we are no strangers to disaster. Over the course of September we will cover four steps from ready.gov to prepare for emergencies. 1. Save Early for Disaster Costs 2. Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters 3. Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters, and 4. Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness.
This week we will focus on the first step, saving early for disaster costs. In the event of a natural disaster, your insurance is going to help you and your family get back on your feet. Do some research, talk to an expert, and see if you have the proper insurance to protect you. Here is some information on documenting and insuring your property provided by FEMA.
Document Your Property.
Keep an inventory of what you own and how much it costs. This will help you determine how much insurance to purchase. This documentation will also help you in claiming tax deductions for your losses. Take photos, videos, and notes on the year, make, and model if the item if need be. Store these documents somewhere safe and easily accessible. You may want to purchase a waterproof and fireproof box or safe and save electronic copies as well.
If you are a Homeowner you will want a policy that covers your house, garagem and personal property such as clothes, furniture, and appliances. You will also want loss-of-use, which compensates you for temporary relocation. Most homeowner’s policies also provide personal liability coverage for accidents on your property and medical protection payment for if a person is injured on your property.
Renters insurance policies provide personal property, loss-of-use, personal liability, medical payments, and property damage to others, which covers you accidentally damaging someone else’s property
Many homeowner policies do not provide coverage for flood damage. Flood insurance covers structural damage to your home and associated cleaning costs. If your insurance provider does not offer flood insurance you may want to look into the National Flood Insurance Program. Visit floodsmart.gov for more information.
Know your settlement options and which settlement would be best for you and your situation. Ask you insurance provider if you qualify for any discounts.
Filing a Claim
If your home or property is damaged file a claim quickly, as many policies have limits as to when you can file a claim. Save receipts for anything you purchase to fix your property or anything you have to buy as a result of the damage. Record the damage with photos and videos.
https://www.ready.gov/september https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1530828089051-74961f5a5be0fc0d39be68d9544f5f6c/P1097_DocumentAndInsureYourProperty_070318.pdf https://www.floodsmart.gov/