Managing Disaster Insurance for Your Business and Home

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Homeowner’s and business insurance is unlikely to cover you for every potential disaster. A standard policy gives you coverage against weather damage but not against rising damp and storm-surge damage. Zoning and risk assessments also influence the kind of pay-outs you receive. For these reasons, it’s important to create an emergency preparedness plan that takes account of the specific risks in your area and how much sustainability you would need in the event of a crisis.

Assessing Your Region

Some regions are prone to specific disasters such as hurricanes and floods, so listing all potential calamities in your location is the first step to creating a comprehensive plan. It is helpful to use riders as a tool for choosing a customized plan that covers your needs and budget best. Once this is done, look at what your homeowner’s insurance offers to ensure that you don’t pay for the same coverage twice. This task is more complex than it may appear at face value, since policies distinguish between different types of damage. For example, there is a difference between damage created by falling water and rising water and between wind damage and hurricane damage. Insurance companies are often helpful when you need clarification on your existing policies. Remember that all valuable possessions can be insured against disaster, including vehicles. Additional items of value such as jewelry and technology can be insured separately. Business interruption can be covered, and reputable insurance companies also provide temporary accommodation when your home becomes uninhabitable. 

Home Inventory Building

Without a home inventory, there is no way to prove losses, so it is advisable to take photographs of your possessions and home. Store a backup of these off site so that they aren’t lost if disaster strikes. Keep records of serial numbers and model names and copies of receipts and purchase prices. A copy of your disaster policy should also be stored away from your property. 

Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost Coverage

Replacement cost coverage allows you to claim for a new item of the same brand or a similar brand to the one you lost without accounting for depreciation. Actual cash value does not cover depreciation, so the item you lost will be replaced by an item that costs the same as what you paid for the lost item. Market value refers to natural disasters insurance that covers the replacement of your home only and not the property it is built on. 

Named Peril and All-Risk

Disaster insurance can be split into two basic types. Named peril policies offer coverage for only the items and events that have been listed. All-risk policies cover all disaster types but usually exclude floods and earthquakes. Businesses generally use all-risk policies with riders for excluded disasters, since they offer security when unexpected events occur. Specific policies are usually used by those who already have comprehensive insurance policies. 

Maintenance

Being aware of the coverage you have will help you to react faster in the event of an emergency. As with all insurance policies, it is good practice to reassess your coverage annually and adapt them when your circumstances or risks have changed.

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