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Make Sure Your Property Is Covered By Insurance Before A Hurricane Hits

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CARY — Most people think about preparing for a hurricane by making sure they haveenough supplies. It is also the time to make sure you have taken steps to protect your property by reviewing your insurance policies.

After hurricanesFranandFloyd, many people who thought they were fully covered were not. For example, most standard policies only cover the actual value of personal property, not how much it costs to replace it. You may want to consider buying replacement coverage.

Unless you have a separate flood policy, only damage from falling water or rain is covered. Rising water from flooding is not covered.

Consumers need to remember that a flood policy does not take effect until 30 days after you buy it. Renters also need to make sure they have insurance. The landlord's insurance only covers the building, but the tenant of the property is responsible for the contents.

After an emergency, it is almost impossible to remember what property you have in your home. Here are some tips about what to do in case there is any damage from the hurricane:Grab a cameraand take pictures of everything in your home, including what is in drawers and cabinets.
  • Take a shotof the front page of the newspaper. Focus on the date so that there is no dispute as to when the pictures were taken.
  • Put the disc, film or tapein a plastic bag and store it in a safe place. The same should be done with important documents including wills, insurance policies and birth certificates.
  • It is also time to check the exterior of the home for clogged drain gutters and downspouts as well as loose shingles. It is best to trim weak or dead tree branches that could fall or blow into the house during a storm.

    As the storm approaches, it is also important to put away deck furniture, grills, potted plants -- anything that could become a projectile or floating debris.

    Once a hurricane warning is issued for your area, experts say you should shut off water, electricity and gas.


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