CHICAGO- As we get ready to roll our clocks back an hour, ending daylight saving time, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) reminds homeowners, renters, and business owners to take that extra time to prepare for severe weather. That means conducting a quick financial checkup, and preparing your family, home, or business for the damaging storms that can hit in the late-fall.
“The last few weeks of fall can bring severe weather in your region,” said Chris Hackett, PCI’s senior director of personal lines policy. “In addition to early ice and snow storms, areas in the Midwest and Southeast must be on alert for tornado activity, and coastal states must stay vigilant for tropical activity as hurricane season lasts through November 30. Insurers encourage policyholders to review their homeowners or renters policy now, and ask important questions about coverage options.”
PCI’s Fall Back Checklist:
Change your clocks back one hour Saturday night before going to bed.
Review your homeowners insurance policy---now is the time to check to make sure your policy is up-to-date and you have the right amount of coverage. Double check that your policy limits accurately reflect your home’s square footage and any new additions or recent renovations. Talk to your agent or insurer to make sure you have an adequate amount of insurance.
Review your policy deductibles. It may be based on a percentage of the replacement cost of your home or a fixed dollar amount such as $1,000. The higher the deductible the lower your premium will be. In many hurricane-prone areas insurance deductibles may range from 1 to 5 percent of the replacement cost of your home.
Ask your insurer or company about optional coverage for flood and earthquake damage, which are not covered under a standard homeowners policy. Flood policies generally have a 30 day waiting period before they kick in, which is why it’s important to purchase the additional coverage now before it’s too late.
Keep a home inventory of each room in your house. Use your smartphone to videotape your home and garage and store the list or video in your email or the cloud.
Change batteries in fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors--make sure they are functioning correctly. If you don’t have one already, it’s a good time to invest in a fire extinguisher.
Prepare your home for the winter months by replacing your furnace filters and cleaning out gutters and trim any trees near powerlines. Check pipes under sinks to make sure they will get adequate heat and won’t freeze in cold winter months.
Make sure you follow PCI on twitter @PCIAA for more important safety tips.