Following an especially brutal winter that was full of downed trees and burst pipes, Atlanta area homeowners would do well to examine their homeowners insurance policies before the beginning of storm and tornado season.
Many homeowners purchase insurance without examining some of the finer details of their policy, including what would be covered following a fire or natural disaster. For those who own expensive items like gun collections, furs or jewelry with a high value, separate riders for policy may be necessary to cover these items. Many policies include such riders as a matter of course; however, for those who have such collections, it is best to be certain prior to any disaster, such as a tornado or other severe weather event.
Looking at the big picture, homeowners need to know what is included in the policy in case of total destruction of their homes. It is common for insurance policies to cover full replacement for a destroyed home; however, homeowners need to read their policy carefully to determine what would happen between the destruction and the rebuild of their home. Does the policy cover temporary housing? How much or for how long? These can become very important questions.
For those Atlantans who do not have a copy of their homeowners insurance policy handy, calling their insurance agent or going online may be viable ways to obtain this information quickly. Having a hard copy on file can save a lot of headaches after an incident, especially during lengthy power outages that may prevent access to the Internet.
Homeowners should also consider documenting their belongings, especially those that would be difficult to replace, including electronics, furniture, appliances, and home additions like custom cabinetry or flooring. This can be extremely helpful following a disaster. Photographs and lists are especially useful and should be stored somewhere safe and backed up online, if possible, in case the originals are lost or destroyed.
For homeowners considering additional coverage, this can often be done inexpensively while providing tremendous peace of mind during periods of turbulent weather, like tornado season or during an especially harsh or predicable winter.