A storm could bring you home damage! Will you be covered?
I love storms, thunderstorms specifically. I love being at home during a storm, under a cozy blanket and listening to the rain and wind on the roof. It’s even more fun if the power goes out and you have to get flashlights and candles for a bit! There was a huge storm back when I was in college that knocked the power out for hours. I remember just sitting in my apartment with candles and reading Harry Potter listening to the rain and loving every minute of it! (Yes I’m a Harry Potter nerd and proud of it) If it’s a thunder and lightning storm I like looking outside and counting the seconds between the thunder booms and the lightning strikes. Why do I do this? I don’t know? I remember hearing somewhere that the number you count between the thunder and lightning means that’s how many miles away the storm is. Who knows where I heard it, maybe from Helen Hunt in the movie Twister? And who knows if this is actually true?
Of course, I don’t really like to be outside in a storm. My liking of them is only when I’m safe and indoors, however, I can totally walk around in a storm in Paris. You know who else hates being outside during a storm, my dogs. They refuse! Thankfully they get over it, but the mud they track in, oh and the wiping of paws and bellies…not so much!
Last weekend we had a pretty gnarly storm and it’s dubbed, by me, as the first big storm of the year. Boy was this one windy! I actually got a little bit fearful that the wind was a little too strong and thought for sure we would have damage to our home. In fact, I had gone outside a few times just to check our yard and fences to make sure everything was ok and even heaved buckets of water out of our boat. Now, my husband was out of town that weekend so I had to brave this storm on my own and prayed that I wouldn’t have major damage or a problem while he was gone. That did happen once. One of our sprinklers busted in the backyard and was flooding and I had NO CLUE how to turn it off! What to do next, call hubby…no answer, call Dad…he didn’t answer, then Grandad…he didn’t answer and then my husband called me on FaceTime who guided me on how to stop it. This instance actually made me have my husband take me around the house to show me the ins and outs of the “outside chores” so I could be prepared for something like this in the future.
It’s very important that we heed any warnings for storms because you can save yourself a lot of work and probably money. As a homeowner, you have to do a certain amount of maintenance and upkeep to try and prevent as best you can any sort of loss. Storm prevention is crucial. I’m not talking about boarding up your house for a hurricane, I’m talking about making sure outdoor clutter is picked up, outdoor furniture is tucked away, or a fence needing to be re-vamped, gutters cleared, drains cleaned etc. If you do your best to keep your yard and exterior intact you may come out of this storm without any or minimal damage.
Many people assume that because they have insurance on their home that everything is covered, which is not the case. Your home insurance is in place to cover losses that are sudden and accidental NOT wear and tear. This includes wind/hail damage, lightning, fallen trees that have damaged your property, some water damage, and power surges etc. Claims are subject to your deductible and your policy limits and the specific carrier you have may have limitations. You may have exclusions for certain coverage or what you think may be covered on your home policy isn’t covered at all, like flood or earthquake! By the way, your home policy does not cover you for flood or earthquake, so you must purchase a separate policy for those risks if you want coverage.
The best way to know if you have coverage for a certain loss is to call your agent and ask. If you do have a loss you can always call your agent to go over it before calling the claims department or call the claims department and put in the claim. Be mindful that for home claims some carriers will now surcharge for a loss, or if they offer a claims-free discount that could be removed at your next renewal.
As much as you prep or plan not to have a claim you never know when and if you’ll have one. The best thing you can do is have insurance and keep it up to date because if you do have a covered loss it’ll save you money and a headache.
The second best thing to do is keep your home as maintained as you can even if that means walking outside in the rain in the middle of the storm! Hey, better late than never right? “Wink, Wink!”
American Diversified Insurance Services, Inc
201 Natoma St Folsom, CA 95630
P: (916)985-7500 F: (916)985-7302 T: (916)970-9349
E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.amerdiv.com