Severe weather and insurance questions

WICHITA, Kansas – When disaster strikes, the first thought is always how to make sure you are safe, and often your belongings are the last thing on your mind.

Living somewhere where severe weather could strike means that home owner’s insurance and renter’s insurance is a must, but are you as covered as you think?

We did our research to find out what you need to be on the lookout for to stay protected.

Your home is one of the biggest investments that you make, but what happens if a storm strikes? How covered are you?

“In this market with all the wind and hail we’ve had, some people are surprised to know that their deductible is 1 percent of the value of their home, or 2 percent or something different,” said Allstate Insurance Agent David Kauffman. “So it’s just a good idea to refresh your memory on what you’re actually covered for and make sure that this is adequate for what you need.”

What are the things you need to look out for?

1) Be sure to check what kind of coverage you actually have

Understanding your coverage plan is a way so you don’t find yourself dealing with any surprises if you’re hit with a bill.

“Sometimes customers will come in from a prior experience thinking that they had a replacement cost and actually what they had was a depreciated value which means they had to pay beyond their deductible,” said Kauffman.

2) Take an inventory of what you actually own

While an insurance company may not ask you to document what you have when first obtaining your insurance, they will definitely want to know what they need to be replacing.

“With an iPhone or a video camera, just to walk around each room, because that will help remind you of what you had later because you’re going to be stressed out. If you’ve had a fire or a tornado or something like that, you may forget something and then two months later think ‘oh, I forgot to tell the insurance company about this item,’” added Kauffman.

3) Take note of is what is NOT covered by most home insurance

Water damage gets tricky. It is covered if its due to a major wind event, like a tornado.

“Water in that case would be covered certainly. The kind of water that wouldn’t be covered, that would be excluded by a flood would be surface water. So water that seeps in through a crack in the wall or the floor of the basement or comes in through a window well wouldn’t be covered,” Kauffman said.

4) Check your rental insurance

One of the major things to remember is that your rental agreement does NOT cover you for major storm events, so you want to make sure that you have renter’s insurance to be covered in a situation like this.

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