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Is your home insurance ready for the next natural disaster?

Sep 8

Making an Emergency Plan and residential property insurance claim can help you protect your home and family from natural disasters. You can take steps, regardless of whether your area is susceptible to hurricanes or wildfires.

Natural disasters can cause severe damage to homes.

Homes can be severely damaged by natural disasters, such as broken windows or water damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), 2020 insured losses from natural disasters were $74 Billion. This is a significant increase from 2019's 25.5 billion. Below are the estimated insured losses for some of the most frequent natural disasters in 2020.

  • Severe thunderstorm (or strong thunderstorm): In 2020, nearly 51 significant storms resulted in $32 billion in insured losses.
  • In 2020, four seismic events accounted for $58 million in an insured loss.
  • Floods In 2020, four flooding events resulted in $2.2 billion in insured losses.
  • In 2020, 19 wildfires resulted in $13.9 billion in insured losses.
  • Tropical Storms: In 2020, five hurricanes or tropical storms caused $1.9 billion in insured losses.
  • Winter storms In 2020, four blizzards resulted in $58 million in insured losses.

Prepare your home for a natural catastrophe.

It is best to plan for a disaster before it occurs. It is essential to be proactive in protecting your home from natural disasters. While building your home with fire-proof and windproof materials is important, it is not essential. You can take some simple steps to ensure your home is safe from natural disasters.

Reinforce windows and doors

Doors can be blown off during a tornado or hurricane, and debris can cause windows to shatter. You can install storm-proof shutters or wind-resistant windows to keep your doors and windows safe from wind damage. You can temporarily fix windows and doors by covering them with plywood until a storm hits.

Locate water, gas, and electrical lines

A homeowner may be given emergency instructions to shut off water, gas, and electricity to their home in the event of a storm. This will prevent flooding or fire hazards. If water and power lines are not checked, they can cause more damage. Identifying where these lines are and how to turn them off is essential before disaster strikes. Before you leave, disconnect all water, gas, and electrical lines if there is an evacuation order.

Sandbags are a great option.

Sandbags are water distributors. They can be placed around doors and in flood-prone areas to prevent flood water from entering a house during a hurricane. This is especially important during storm surges. For adequate protection, sandbags should not be more than one foot high.

Secure outdoor furniture

Outdoor furniture should be secured and tied down before the storms hit. Move loose items such as sporting equipment, grills, or umbrellas inside. Ensure toys, yard tools, and other small items aren't left out in the storm.

Prune large trees

Storms can bring about significant damage to trees. Large branches hanging over a home's roof can cause severe damage and even injury. You can keep your roof safe by regularly trimming large trees and asking neighbors to trim branches across the property line.

Attach heavy furniture securely to the walls

Earthquakes can cause heavy furniture to be thrown over, even appliances such as refrigerators. Falling objects can cause serious injuries, particularly to children. You should secure any heavy furniture that falls to the walls if you live in an earthquake zone.

You should look for fire-resistant plants.

You can protect your home by creating a safe zone around it and using non-flammable materials like stone and cement. The fire can spread to the house if plants are in the yard. 

Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover many natural disasters, such as flood and earthquake damage. Flood insurance and earthquake insurance policies should be purchased separately by homeowners who live in flood-prone areas.

Questions frequently asked

Which is the best company for home insurance?

You have many options for home insurance. It is possible to get an idea of the average cost of homeowners insurance. However, much of your premium cost will depend upon where you live and what state you reside in. To find the best company, coverage, and lowest price for your needs, it's worth doing some research.

What happens to my insurance premium if I file a claim for a natural disaster?

Yes, premiums for home insurance go up following almost every covered claim. The severity of the claim and the cost of repairs will determine the rate hike. To avoid significant rate increases after a claim, homeowners can take advantage of discounts and improve their credit scores. Before making any changes to your policy, it is a good idea to speak to a licensed insurance professional.