Recovering from a disaster
To make sure you're properly insured for a catastrophic loss and increase the chances you're promptly and appropriately reimbursed so you can recover quickly, General Casualty offers the following advice:
- Make sure your home and possessions are insured to full value. Many homeowners policies only guarantee replacement up to a certain amount, plus a 20- or 25-percent cushion so make sure your home is accurately valued. Your belongings are valued at 50 to 80 percent of your home's value; thus it's important your home is valued accurately.
- Review policy limits annually. Review the limits on your home, contents and specific items that may need extra coverage with your agent to make sure you have adequate coverage – especially if you've remodeled or made large purchases lately. Values can increase over time, which may or may not be accounted for in your policy.
- Consider extra coverage for specific items. If you own or collect high-value items, such as jewelry, electronics, furs or specialty collections, consider adding specialty coverage endorsements that specifically insure these items and help guarantee that they'll be replaced with "like kind and quality."
- Create a detailed inventory of your belongings.
- Think about the little things. When comparing policies, consider coverage for debris removal and landscaping. Homeowners policies typically don't cover trees. And if you can't live in your home during reconstruction or repair, you'll have to live elsewhere. Our policies cover your "additional living expense" up to 20 percent of your home's value.
- Choose your insurer carefully. Different companies have different types of policies with different coverage extensions or expanded limits that may fit your needs better. They also approach the claims settlement process differently. While you should always shop around carefully, make sure the cost of your policy isn't the only factor you consider when choosing your insurance.
- Get to know your agent. Develop an ongoing relationship with your insurance agent to help ensure they can best advise you on an insurance provider and policy that's best for your needs and can change as your lifestyle changes.