Man-made catastrophes, like fires and crashes, are bad enough. But they’re nothing compared to the damage Mother Nature can cause. Natural disasters-tornadoes, typhoons, tsunamis, thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, mudslides, landslides-can strike at any time. With the looming threat of natural disasters, how…
Natural disasters-tornadoes, typhoons, tsunamis, thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, mudslides, landslides-can strike at any time.
With the looming threat of natural disasters, how does anyone leave the house? The trick is to understand what you’re most at risk for and prepare for it as best you can.
If, for example, you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you can take important precautions to protect your property, such as investing in a backup sump pump, keeping your valuables raised up off the floor, and perhaps investing in hurricane shutters.
Hurricane season, while incredibly destructive, is a period of seven months, from June 1 to December 1. Other natural disasters can happen at any time, anywhere. My office in historic Sleepy Hollow on the Hudson River in Westchester County, New York, was struck by a tornado four years ago. The unexpected cyclone hit many buildings in the area and dropped a hundred-year-old tree on our roof. Luckily, no one was injured, and fortunately, we had insurance coverage to repair our office. Many of our local clients had to file claims to repair damages to their home.
Natural Disasters: Preparing for the Unexpected
The best thing you can do to prepare for a natural disaster is create a record of your home and your belongings.
And yet, according to a survey conducted by International Communications Research (ICR) on behalf of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), 67.7 percent of households have not created a photo library or a video file of the personal contents of their home.
Last winter, we had a massive snowstorm that caused trees to hit lots of fences and roofs in the area. The advice we gave our clients then, which is the same advice we give any disaster victim, is PHOTOS, PHOTOS, and MORE PHOTOS.
You can call your agency first and get an estimate, but photo documentation is what’s going to help when you file your insurance claim.
Natural Disaster: How to Document Your Home and Belongings for Insurance Claims
Creating simple photo documentation of your home and your belongings is one way to make filing an insurance claim so much easier. Follow these best practices to become your insurance agent’s most prepared client:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide comprehensive information about disasters, preparedness, and recovery to avoid extensive injury and/or illness.
Natural Disasters: 4 Insurance Policies You Should Consider
Depending on where your home is located and the natural disasters most likely to strike, consider the following insurance policies:
Linda Rey is a licensed insurance agent at Rey Insurance with a broad spectrum of expertise in life, accident, health, property and casualty insurance as well as retirement planning and college funding strategies.
Follow Linda on Twitter.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.