There is no way of knowing what damage a hurricane or natural disaster could have on your home, contents, vehicle or boat.

Therefore, taking steps to limit your loss, and reduce the cost of fixing or replacing the items you have worked hard for, is an important step in being prepared.

One way to manage your uncertainty is to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage from a reliable insurance company.

In addition to coverage against hurricanes, your home insurance should be able to protect your property against such events as fire, theft and flooding – just to name a few.

To help determine the correct sum to insure, the following is recommended:

  • For the building: A current replacement cost valuation for your home from a qualified professional surveyor is a great resource to help avoid the risk of underinsurance. Since replacement cost changes over time due to inflation and improvements you should consider getting an updated valuation every few years.
  • For contents and personal possessions: Take an inventory of each room in the house and list all items in that room with a replacement cost. It is a good idea to update your inventory at least once a year when you renew your policy or after a big purchase.

It is important to understand that you could face challenges in the event of a claim if you have not insured for the correct sum. Not only may you not have insured for enough to re-build or replace your property but, you may also face underinsurance penalties.

Most claims are also subject to a deductible. A deductible is the part of the loss that you will be responsible for. Be sure to read your policy or ask your insurance provider to help you understand what your deductible will be before potential losses, so it is not a surprise to you.

Motor and boat coverage

And let’s not forget about motor coverage. Comprehensive insurance will cost a little more.

However, it provides extra protection for your car in the event you have an at-fault accident, an accident caused by an uninsured or ‘hit and run’ driver, or damage caused by a hurricane. To determine the value to insure for comprehensive cover you will want to provide the current market value of your vehicle.

Own a boat? Make sure you have an insurance policy that provides protection against hurricane damage. You may want to consider getting your vessel evaluated by a professional marine surveyor to ensure your vessel is in tip-top condition and to help you select an adequate sum to insure.

With any insurance policy, it is important to ensure you are familiar with all the terms and conditions. As part of your hurricane preparations, check your policy to ensure it is up to date and adjusted for your changing lifestyle, so it responds the way you expect it to if you have a loss.

While there’s uncertainty during hurricane season – or any catastrophic event – the right insurance can give you peace of mind that you have protected what matters most.

Contributed by Island Heritage Insurance Company Ltd.

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