In the fall of 2017, three major hurricanes–Harvey, Irma, and Maria–were estimated to have impacted over 25.8 million Americans.
And chances are, it’s only a matter of time before you are affected by a disaster too.
September is National Preparedness Month and week 3 is all about making sure you have the right insurance coverage in place. Insurance is your first line of defense when it comes to putting the pieces back together after a disaster strikes.
By having the right insurance coverage and knowing your belongings will be replaced, you can focus on what’s really important during an emergency, the safety of yourself and loved ones.
Take these 5 simple life-saving measures because disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can.
1. Know where your water shutoff valve is located and how it works
Typically your water shutoff valve is hidden in some dark, spooky corner of your house and during an emergency is not the ideal time to go on a scavenger hunt looking for it.
But if you sense that you have a water leak, turning off the main valve could save you thousands of dollars and a huge mess.
2. Protect important documents
Preparing for an emergency can be stressful. Don’t forget to upload digital forms of all of your important documents, such as birth certificates and health insurance cards to ensure you are ready. Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file a claim after flood, wind, or fire damage.
3. Decide on a family meeting spot should you get separated during an emergency
Fires, gas leaks, and storms are just a few disasters that may cause you to get separated from others in your family. Having a central meeting spot to come back together in case phones are lost and you can’t communicate is a great way to let others know that you are OK.
Decide ahead of time several places that would be appropriate for your family to meet taking into account the time of day, distance, and if it is in or outdoors. Having several gives you the flexibility to react to a variety of situations.
4. Plan and practice a home evacuation route, including one for your pets
Practice makes…permanent! When a disaster strikes, there’s little time to think. Having practiced what to do makes your response automatic and can deliver you to your safe spot. But don’t forget one very important family member. Your pet!
By having an evacuation plan that includes your pets ahead of time, you won’t have to make snap decisions when it comes time to put it in action. Make sure their tags are up to date with your name and address should they get separated from you.
5. Make sure you have the right insurance coverage
Know what your insurance policy covers before you need it so you aren’t surprised if something isn’t covered. Sitting down with your agent and asking questions is the best way to communicate what is important to you. Be sure to keep your home inventory current by keeping track of the items you own. If it’s been a year or more since you’ve reviewed your homeowners policy with your agent, it’s to time for a checkup.
Life can change in an instant and you don’t want to be caught off-guard and unprepared, especially when there’s an easy solution.
Coverage From All Sides
It’s never too late to prepare for the unknown. We can help you get started with a policy review to find where you are lacking in coverage so when the time comes, you know you’ve done your best to protect yourself and your family.
Peter Cole, insurance agent and partner at Pentagon Insurance Agency in Elk River, MN, began his career in the industry more than 30 years ago. He prides himself on backing up every sale by personally providing service to his clients and by providing the coverage they need at the best possible price.
Contact Peter to discuss your situation today!