Natural Disasters and Your Homeowners Insurance

Mortgage and Lending with Guaranteed Rate NMLS ID: 21441

My previous blog talked about being prepared of a natural disaster. Part of that preparation should include revisiting your homeowner’s insurance policy and speaking with your agent sooner rather than later.

If your house burns to the ground, you need to not only replace the house and all your things, you’ll need to clean up the site so that new construction can begin. Did your house have any asbestos? If so, you’ll likely need greater policy limits to ensure the Hazmat team is covered in addition to the rest of the clean-up and rebuilding that will take place.


Do you have a large garage, storage shed, fence, or barn? Normal policy limits have “accessory structures” covered at 10% of the dwelling coverage amount. If your home is insured for $350,000, then it’s likely that $35,000 will be the norm for covering the detached garage, shed, fence and/or barn. Is that enough to clean up and replace all of those accessory structures?


Do you have antiques, heirlooms or other unique items? Those may need an appraisal to ensure adequate coverage.


Keep receipts. Take a video of your home and its contents. Keep all of that in a safe deposit box or in secure off site computer back up. If you’re robbed, the electronics are likely gone. If you have a house fire, the computer files will not be retrievable. Get a back-up for your back up. Please make sure you’re covered and can replace your things, including your computer files.


Have a conversation with your insurance agent about the not so glamorous things such as sewer backup, septic, and ordinance issues.


If you have a sump pump make sure you have a battery backup. The battery backup should be enough to handle most situations but if there is an extended outage, like we had with Sandy, you may want to consider other options such as a generator or a water powered sump pump backup. 


No one likes to think about a possible homeowner’s insurance claim. Natural disasters, fires and thefts are major life disrupters. But it sure is easier to handle a claim when you’re properly prepared and know that you’re covered. 

Rates are still great!

Rich Hirsch
Senior Loan Officer
(908) 410-9066
NMLS #21441
NJ LIC #0749868  PA LIC #27282




Comments (2)

Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS
All good points when shopping insurance coverage; sometimes, the cheapest isn't the best choice.
Feb 26, 2013 08:21 AM
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Once again you have given some very good points for insurance and being prepared.  Thank you for your input. 

Feb 26, 2013 12:06 PM