CHICAGO (4/25/11)--Do you know exactly what your insurance policies cover--and don’t cover--if you’re the victim of a tornado, earthquake, flood, or other natural disaster? Concerned consumers are questioning whether they have adequate insurance coverage after witnessing the devastating losses from recent storms that swept through portions of the southern U.S. and the disaster surrounding Japan’s earthquake (MarketWatch.com
April 18). Know the basics and get answers before disaster strikes. The Insurance Information Institute suggests addressing these questions with a qualified insurance representative will help consumers understand if they have proper coverage:
* Do I have enough insurance to rebuild my home? If your home is destroyed, your coverage should enable you to completely rebuild it at current construction costs. Be sure to understand your coverage for replacement costs, extended replacement costs, inflation guard, flood insurance, water backup, and law or ordinance coverage that pays for you to rebuild to stricter code standards. * Do I have enough insurance to replace my possessions? Conduct a thorough home inventory by listing all possessions, taking pictures of them, and recording how much you estimate it would cost to replace each item. Compare these figures with the dollar amount your homeowners policy provides for personal possessions. * Do I have enough coverage for additional living expenses? If you are forced from your home due to an insured disaster, many homeowners insurance policies will cover additional living expenses such as lodging and meals. It is important to understand the exact amount and types of expenses covered, and whether these additional living expenses are covered for a specific period of time.
For more information, listen to “Are You Prepared to Survive a Disaster?” and read “Review Insurance to Ensure Proper Coverage” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center