March 05, 2015
Department of Insurance encourages preparedness during Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week
Missourians should review their policies now
Jefferson City, Mo - The Missouri Department of Insurance encourages Missourians to be prepared for dangerous tornadoes, severe storms, lightning and flooding during Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 2-7. With spring just a few weeks away, now is the time for consumers to review their policies to make sure they have adequate coverage, and to prepare a home inventory.
"It's important to make sure your homes and possessions are adequately insured," said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "Now is the time to review your coverages with your insurance agent."
Policy limits on homes and belongings can become outdated. A homeowner's insurance policy that's more than five years old may not cover the entire cost associated with rebuilding a home or replacing lost or damaged possessions. Homeowners should make it a habit to review their policy limits annually to ensure they are better protected from unpredictable events. Get more information.
A landlord's insurance policy usually covers the structure of the building but not the possession's of the tenant. If you are renting an apartment, condo or house, consider renters insurance. With premiums averaging $8-21 per month for $20,000 to $30,000 worth of coverage, renters insurance is an affordable way to protect your belongings. Get more information.
Prepare a home inventory
The department also strongly encourages consumers to prepare a list of their belongings. A home inventory can help determine the level of coverage needed before disaster strikes, and it can make it easier to file a claim.
There are several ways to start building a home inventory. The Department of Insurance offers a free home inventory booklet. If you are using an electronic or paper spreadsheet, remember to take pictures of your belongings, and save them, along with your home inventory, in a safe, fireproof place.
You can also download the free home inventory app for iPhone or Android smartphones. The app guides you through capturing images, descriptions, bar codes and serial numbers, and then stores them electronically for safekeeping. The app even creates a backup file for email sharing.
What's not covered
A standard homeowners and renters insurance policy doesn't protect your home or belongings from damage associated with floods, earthquakes or sewer and drain backup. Ask your agent if you need this additional coverage.
To be covered by flood insurance, consumers need a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. Policies have a 30-day waiting period before they're effective. For more information about flood insurance, visit floodsmart.gov or call 888-379-9531.
For other tips about preparing for severe weather, visit the Department of Insurance's severe weather page. To learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week in Missouri, visit sema.dps.mo.gov.
About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration
The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.