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Impending Storm Preparation and Insurance Coverage You Should Check On

A review of steps to prepare your home for an impending winter storm, along with a review of important insurance coverages to be sure you have on your homeowner's policy before a storm.

Did the last snowstorm leave you worried about your home and your family’s safety? Unfortunately, it often takes a near miss with danger to remind us that there are potential hazards out there. Luckily, we can use this to motivate us to be prepared. Local weather stations are reporting that another storm may be in our midst this weekend. If the last storm left you worried, now’s your chance to get ready for next time.

There are many things you can do to prepare your home for the next storm and to avoid potential claims. Just a few simple and easy changes can make all the difference. Try to accomplish these few tips before the storm hits us Saturday night:

House prep before storm:

  • Clean out gutters to avoid ice damns
  • Clear out or clear off drains of any type
  • Close fuses in fireplace to save on heat
  • Clean our dryer vents
  • Make sure oil tank is full
  • Fully charge cell phones and computers
  • Get plenty of gas for snowblower
  • Create a family emergency kit. Be sure to include:
    • Flashlights
    • Batteries
    • Chargers for cell phones and computers
    • Accessible fire extinguisher
    • Non-perishable food
    • Water

During Storm:

  • Park cars in garage if possible
  • Avoid candles at all costs
  • Shovel stairs and porch after every six inches of snow or more (without putting yourself in danger)
  • Listen to public officials

After Storm:

  • Completely clear all snow off of cars
  • Check and clear off drains and gutters
  • Use a snow rake to get snow off of flat roofs

 

It might also be time to review your insurance coverages. Most people aren’t sure what would be covered in the event of a claim. Call your insurance agent to find out exactly what your home owner’s policy covers in the event of a snow related accident and check on the following coverages:

  • Coverage for back up of sewers and drains, commonly known as sump pump coverage. You can buy limits of up to $10,000. Most companies have a broadening endorsement that you can add to your policy that includes a certain amount. It doesn’t cover flood.
  • Coverage for debris removal. Most companies give $500 or $1000 for debris removal (tree removal). Sometimes you might only have coverage if a tree hits something on your property such as the house, shed, fence, etc. so be sure to check with your agent on what your specific policy provides.
  • What you are carrying for windstorm/hail/named storm coverage for a deductible. This can be a significant number
  • Deductible for comprehensive coverage on auto policy – tree damage is subject to deductible

 

With the right information, you can rest assured knowing that you and your family are prepared and protected in the event of any coming storm. Be sure to call your local insurance agent if you have any questions or concerns and stay safe this weekend!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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