If you have been a victim of a major weather event like Hurricane Sandy, a forest fire, a flood or an earthquake, you have a pretty good idea of why homeowners, landlords and renters may need catastrophe insurance. These events have occurred with alarming frequency in recent years.
What are the different kinds of catastrophe insurance and how do you decide which coverage you really need? Start by contacting an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network who can review the types of disaster coverage available in your area and help you make the right choices for your home and family.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a catastrophe is an unusually severe natural or man-made disaster that results in potential insurance claims in excess of $25 million. While there are several different types of insurable catastrophes, not all require separate coverage. Some are included in homeowners, renters or auto policies, or can be added as a rider attached to an existing policy.
Disasters that can be covered by insurance include:
It is important to know which types of disasters your homeowners or renters policy cover, and which require a separate policy. As an example, your home insurance may provide coverage against wind damage, but not for damage from flooding.
It is a good idea to have an emergency plan for your family when the unexpected happens. Every household should have a fire escape plan. In case of a fire, know your family’s escape routes and meeting places. The same is true of major storms, since every geographic area in the US experiences tornadoes, windstorms and hurricanes. Know your storm shelter areas and evacuation plans.
Always have emergency supplies on hand, including flashlights, batteries, power generators, non-perishable food and emergency water. If you have advance warning, contact your insurance agent and out-of-town family members.
The challenge with preparing for disaster is that it’s inherently unpredictable. Some catastrophic events are particularly difficult to predict. Others, such as tropical storms, occur with some frequency and can cause catastrophic losses. Some disasters tend to be cyclical.
Some areas in the US are considered to be in 100-year flood zones, while others may be at risk for flooding only every 200 years. Central California experienced a catastrophic flood in 1861 that created an inland sea for a period of six months, and scientists are concerned that such a megaflood could happen again.
Predicting exactly what disasters you may need to prepare for and deciding whether you need catastrophe insurance is complicated. You can start with the following questions:
Knowing these facts about your home and geographic area is an important first step toward finding the right insurance coverage to protect your home. To get the guidance you need to make educated choices about coverage, work with a local member agent in the Trusted Choice network. Your independent agent can help you determine whether you need coverage above and beyond your standard homeowners, renters and auto policies.
Because they are not affiliated with any one insurance company, independent agents in the Trusted Choice network can compare rates on coverage from multiple carriers and act as a one-stop resource for all of your insurance needs. Find a local agent in your area today to get a plan tailored to your needs at a price you can afford.