Consumer Alert: ‘Disaster proof’ your insurance

Posted: Updated:

As the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, experts says that homeowners should make sure their insurance covers similar types of natural disasters.

“You want to look at the declarations page of a homeowners’ insurance policy. That's going to give you a great overview of your coverage,” says Michael Barry, with the Insurance Information Institute.

Barry says that the first thing a homeowner should look for is to see if they have enough insurance coverage to rebuild their home in its current location in the event of a total loss.

Insurance experts say that it is also important to know what the homeowners’ policy won’t cover. Flood damage is typically covered by separate flood insurance. Earth movement may not be covered, which can be a big issue if erosion causes damage to a home’s foundation.

Barry also suggests that homeowners pay attention to hurricane or “named storm” deductibles. The deductibles will determine how much a homeowner will pay before the insurance kicks in.

“This is a deductible that's tied to the insured value of your home. So for instance, you have a deductible of 5 percent and an insured value of your home of $200,000, then your deductible is $10,000,” Barry says.

Experts say paying attention to insurance before a disaster hits can help save a lot of trouble if and when disaster strikes.

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