Insurers Take Part in National Day of Action
CHICAGO — With the number and severity of weather-related disasters on the rise, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is urging individuals, organizations, and communities to take action to prepare for specific hazards that could impact them as part of America’s PrepareAthon National Day of Action April 30, 2016.
As a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, PCI is continuing its support of a broad coalition of federal agencies, first responders, private sector companies, schools and community organizations who work together to promote preparedness for spring hazards: tornadoes, wildfires, floods and hurricanes on this annual day of action.
“The recent violent weather which devastated some Texas communities highlights why it is so important to not only have an emergency plan, but also to take action by practicing your response plan,” said Chris Hackett, PCI’s senior director of personal lines policy. “In just a matter of moments a natural disaster can destroy a families most treasured possessions. Having a plan is a great way to defend your family, yourself, and your belongings from natural disasters. It is also important to make sure your insurance coverage is up to date by speaking with your agent or company. Additionally, it is a good idea to ask about additional coverage options such as earthquake or flood insurance as they are typically not covered under your standard homeowners policy.”
There are many ways individuals, organizations, and communities can participate in America’s PrepareAthon from hazard specific drills to group discussions. To ensure you are ready for the aftermath of a natural disaster, PCI has highlighted five steps you can take to financially prepare for the worst.
PCI 5 Steps to Being Financially Ready :
1. Conduct a yearly insurance review of your insurance policy and limits: This will help to ensure you are adequately insured and better able to weather a catastrophic loss. To help you determine how much coverage you may want, check with local builders for the current costs associated with building new homes, and then add at least 10-20 percent. Also, ask your agent or insurer about deductibles and discounts that may be available. Make sure you know the amount of your deductible - it may be based on the value of your home or be a fixed dollar amount. Higher deductibles can help keep the cost of insurance affordable.
2. Talk with your insurance company or agent: Discuss purchasing additional coverage options such as flood or earthquake insurance. The standard homeowners policy does not cover losses that result from floods or earthquakes.
3. Consider things you can do to reduce damage to your property: Taking action to reduce the amount of damage that may occur when severe weather occurs can reduce insurance costs and help speed the recovery process after a natural disaster.
4. Take a home inventory by using your smartphone: An inventory lists your home’s contents so you can quickly and easily account for all of your belongings and report the loss to your insurance company. Without it you may have to rely on your memory to determine what you lost. The home inventory will help speed up the claims process and ensure you are compensated fully for your loss. Keep the inventory and your insurance policies in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box or online.
5. Prepare for power outages, inconveniences and scams that could affect your finances: When the power is out you may not have the ability to pump gas, withdraw cash from an ATM or pay for things electronically. So, as severe weather approaches, fill up your gas tank in case you have to evacuate, have some cash on hand for emergencies and charge all your electronic devices. After a storm, insurers may be able to assist policyholders with paying for expenses such as temporary housing and eating in restaurants if their property is determined to be uninhabitable due to the storm. Additional living expenses coverage can help homeowners and renters with the increase over normal living expenses.
If you would like to participate in the National Day of Action or get involved with America’s PrepareAthon movement-check out the ten ways you can participate and don’t forget to share on social media by using #PrepareAthon on your social media accounts on and leading up to April 30. We hope you’ll continue to share the importance of being prepared because only together can we build a weather ready nation.
Follow PCI on twitter @PCIAA where we will continue to share important preparedness tips.