The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) indicate that almost half of all renters and homeowners are not taking the threat of floods, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes seriously. They have indicated that around 48% of all homeowners and renters do not even have an inventory of their possessions within the home.
32% of those who made a checklist did not take the time to take pictures of their belongings
58% of those who have a checklist did not keep any receipts to validate purchases
44% of those with an inventory keep the inventory within their home where it will be destroyed right along with the possessions.
The NAIC has offered these tips for residents to prepare for disasters:
Make insurance claims easy to process by making a physical recording of each item. Either take the time to make an inventory of all property and take pictures for each product or make a video recording of the room with the belongings in it. Proof of belongings offers faster redemption of claims.
Complete the inventory with model names and serial numbers. Keep proof of payment including receipts and canceled checks where applicable.
Average homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover jewelry and other extravagant purchases like antiques. Additions to a policy or a new policy may be necessary to protect any new purchases
Tools, sports equipment and holiday decorations should also be added to the inventory even though they are not being used on a regular basis.
The receipts and inventory is designed to protect your property and should be stored away from the home in case of a natural disaster. Bank safe deposit boxes are perfect locations because they are easily accessible after a disaster and they provide protection against water and fire.
Additional copies of the inventory and pictures can be left with relatives so they are accessible when you need them. The internet can provide storage space to maintain your inventory and all pictures of the property so it will never be lost.
Talk with insurance providers to determine exactly what is included in the insurance policy. Changes in your policy may happen if you do not review it on occasion. Make sure that your policy includes all current property is possible when you review and update your policy every year.
Make sure that you have access to the toll free numbers for all of your insurance providers. This should be in your phone and in another location in case of an emergency.
There is a difference between actual cash value and the replacement costs. Depreciation is taken into account when it comes to evaluating how much you will receive if your property is lost based on a policy with actual cash value assessment. If you want to have the total amount it will cost to repair or replace the item without depreciation, you are looking for replacement insurance which is slightly higher in cost depending on what you own.
If you go through a disaster, you will likely need a new place you can sleep while yours is being repaired. Talk to your insurance provider about possible temporary housing coverage in your policy.
Home improvements and renovations should be reflected in the insurance policy. Make sure that your home is being appraised shortly after you have made changes to your property to determine value and the correct insurance levels you should be paying for.