June 1st marks the beginning of the hurricane season. What should you do to prepare?
1. Take Inventory
Dealing with the aftermath of such a traumatic event as a hurricane can be quite overwhelming. To help remember what is in your home, take pictures inside each room, making sure to open closet doors. Or, walk around with a video camera, making sure to point out high-valued or one-of-a-kind items. Once complete, make sure to take with you when you evacuate or upload to a website such as www.knowyourstuff.org for safe keeping.
2. Review your Homeowner Insurance Policy
Don’t wait until after a hurricane to learn you aren’t adequately insured. Speak to your agent and review your homeowners insurance coverage beforehand to make sure you are insuring your home at the proper value. Your policy’s limits should reflect what it would take to rebuild the home in the event of a total loss. Agents have tools to assist in determining this value, based on your home’s features.
3. Purchase Flood Insurance
A common misconception is that flood coverage is part of a standard homeowner policy. Another misconception is that not all properties are in a flood zone. Both are untrue. All properties are mapped out with determined zones. But, the zone you’re in will ultimately determine if your lender would require you to carry this coverage. For example, if your home is in Zone “X”, flood insurance is considered optional. However, don’t end up like the LA homeowners who did not think they needed flood coverage because their bank did not require it, didn’t purchase it, and subsequently lost everything due to flooding from Hurricane Katrina. Ask your agent for a flood insurance quote. Prices can be quite reasonable depending on your location.