Speciaal to theJournal
Atlanta — With Tropical Storm Karen forecasted to bring heavy rain and possible tornados to Georgia, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens urges residents to prepare now for severe weather by reviewing their property insurance.
Commissioner Hudgens offers these insurance tips for severe weather:
• Make a list of your valuables, furniture, electronics, etc. A photographic or digital record is a good idea. Keep copies of the list or photos in a safe place outside your home — in a safe deposit box or with a relative. An accurate record of your possessions will be invaluable if you need to file a claim with your insurance company.
• Protect your property from further damage. For example, if your roof is leaking, cover it with a tarp. Most policies won’t cover after-storm damage caused from rain.
• Determine if you have actual cash value coverage, or replacement cost coverage on your homeowners insurance. With actual cash value, you will receive only the current value of an item when you file a claim. In other words, you’ll get only “used” prices for your furniture, TV, etc. With replacement cost coverage, your claim amount will be enough to purchase new items.
• Remember that policies for mobile or manufactured usually include coverage for flood damage caused by rising waters, unlike standard homeowners policies. A typical homeowners policy does not include coverage for flood damage, but owners of traditional site-built homes may purchase federal flood insurance by visitingwww.floodsmart.gov
• If you rent, remember that your landlord’s insurance typically covers just the structure, not your personal belongings. To protect your clothing, furniture, electronics, etc., you should consider purchasing renters insurance.
If you have questions about property insurance, you may call Commissioner Hudgens’ Consumer Services Division Monday through Friday