BEFORE THE STORM
Did you know that in 2016 the U.S. insured catastrophe losses totaled $23.8 billion, of which $14 billion was attributable to tornadoes and severe thunderstorms? On average the National Weather Service (NWS) issues more than 1,000 watches and nearly 30,000 warnings.
Are you prepared for severe storms and tornadoes?
- Conduct a yearly insurance review – you many have made upgrades, completed renovations or purchased new items that could impact the coverage you need.
- Take a home inventory – creating an inventory of your home’s contents allows you to quickly and easily account for all of your belongings and report a loss to your insurance company.
- Understand your coverage – understanding how your coverage works will help keep you from being caught unprepared. You may have valuables that require a special endorsement to the policy or you may want to add sewer back up or other coverages for added protection.
DURING THE STORM
If you are outside or in a mobile home:
- If there is a tornado warning, seek shelter inside a sturdy building, preferably with a basement.
- If you cannot seek shelter in a building, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area.
- Cover your head and neck with your arms.
If you are driving:
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car. If it is safe to do so, drive to a sturdy structure or building where you can seek shelter inside.
- Do not seek shelter under an overpass.
If you are in a house:
- Seek shelter in an interior part of the basement.
- If there is no basement, go to an inside room, without windows, on the lowest floor such as a center hallway, bathroom, or closet.
- Protect yourself from flying debris with pillows, blankets, cushions, etc.
AFTER THE STORM
- Secure your property from further damage or theft.
- Contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible to report damage.
- Inventory losses and photograph damage to provide to your insurance adjuster. Save receipts.
- Keep detailed records of business activity that is negatively affected due to the tornado or storm and keep a list of extra expenses during the interruption.
- Discuss with your agent if your policy provides reimbursement of additional living expenses when the property is determined to be uninhabitable due to damage.
- Be alert of contractor fraud following a natural disaster. Contact your insurer, agent or local Better Business Bureau for references on potential contractors and ask for certificated of liability and workers compensation before signing contracts.
Source: ©2017 Property Casualty Insurers Association of America pciaa.net