Homeowner’s Insurance and Rough Seasonal Weather

Are you covered by your homeowner’s insurance for inclement weather? According to a recent survey, less than 22% of homeowners consider changing weather when updating their coverage.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) study discovered that, with disaster-level events on the rise, more than 800 emergency or disaster declarations were made in the United States between 2005 and 20152.

These events resulted in an average annual insured loss of $24 billion. According to the NAIC survey, more than 56 percent of homeowners failed to review their insurance policies in the previous calendar year, and 14 percent are unsure when they last reviewed their policies.

According to their findings, only 44 percent of people have an accurate “home inventory” of their belongings. More than 40% of those who have taken on the task of creating an inventory haven’t updated it in over a year.

Spring weather brings the possibility of severe storms, especially in the Northern Plains and upper Midwest. Storms that produce hail, lightning, flooding, and the ongoing threat of tornadoes arrive with the arrival of spring, so we’d like to offer some insurance tips to prepare for the wild weather ahead.

“During the past decade, the U.S. has experienced significant shifts in the frequency, severity and location of natural disasters,” says Michael Consedine, NAIC Chief Executive Officer. “According to our survey, most consumers aren’t connecting the dots between these shifts and the impact on their home insurance needs. Missing these links can be costly.”

Differences between Generations

The NAIC survey also revealed some generational differences in how different segments approach home insurance. Millennials (19%) are significantly more likely than Gen Xers (10%) and Baby Boomers (8%), respectively, to consider the impact of changing weather patterns on their homeowner’s insurance.

Millennials are far more likely than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to have reviewed or updated their insurance policy within the last five years, and they are also more likely to have an updated home inventory and to have reviewed or revised recently.

The NAIC recommends that consumers re-evaluate their “risk profile” on an annual basis.

Is my life now in jeopardy? Are earthquakes, wildfires, and other natural disasters now a risk? Do I require flood insurance?
What’s new in my house? Did the number of people (and their possessions) grow or decrease? Have I made any significant purchases?
Have I renovated my kitchen, installed a new security system, or made other improvements to my home?
Should I look into alternative coverage? Can I save money by combining my home and auto insurance policies?

At www.insureuonline.org, you can find some free disaster preparation guides on how to prepare for tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires.

For your company?

It is critical to have a current copy of a disaster recovery plan. Ascertain that your employees are aware of the plan and know where to find it. Keep them in a secure location, just like any other important corporate records. If the weather turns bad, a working emergency generator may provide a temporary solution.

Homeowner’s insurance when you are at home?

In the event of a disaster, dedicating a section of your pantry to canned foods and bottled water could provide a critical few days’ supply. Fresh batteries and sturdy flashlights should be easily accessible and functional. It’s also a good idea to have a plan in place for quickly contacting any elderly or homebound friends and family.

David Maack, the Emergency Management Coordinator for Racine County, says that warning systems have been upgraded in recent years.

“For years people relied on outdoor warning sirens as their primary means of warning. However, there are limitations to outdoor warning sirens,” Maack says. “They’re not designed to be heard indoors, especially in newer, more energy-efficient and better-insulated homes with additional electronic noise (like air conditioners, stereos or television) on.”

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