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Will Your Insurance Protect You When Nature Strikes?

Last week tragedy struck when bizarre weather patterns resulted in dozens of powerful tornados, massive flooding, high winds and damaging dust storms occurring across multiple states. In some cases, the powerful weather fronts striking the Plains and southern states swept north, resulting in rainstorms that spread across the East Coast up to the state of New York. Unfortunately, last week’s freak-weather had devastating effects on many communities that have forced survivors to take in the resulting damages and evaluate their options for the future.

It’s difficult to imagine a disaster on the scale of what we saw last week happening in central Pennsylvania.  But natural disasters can hit anywhere and any time – and that’s why you need to ask yourself – would your insurance protect and assist you if disaster struck?

1. Evaluating Your Homeowners Policy

Basic homeowners insurance policies usually cover certain damages caused by some acts of nature, such as lightning strikes, wildfires, windstorms, hail storms, damage caused by heavy snow or ice on your home, and even tornados or certain amounts of volcanic activity. While this seems like enough on first glance, several key things are not included in this coverage:

-Any damage caused by earthquakes

-Any damages caused by flooding

-Certain types of hurricane damage

Central Pennsylvania, while a very safe state in terms of natural disasters, is still at risk for flooding, both due to local weather and due to hurricane storms moving north after making landfall. Because of this, locals are strongly advised to purchase additional coverage to make sure they’re protected in these events – and to make sure their homeowners insurance comprehensively covers any personal losses or potential rebuilding costs.

2. Evaluating Your Renters Policy

Renters by definition have to deal with a unique situation – while they can (and should!) look into a renter’s insurance policy that covers damage to their furniture, electronics and other personal belongings in the event of a natural disaster, the responsibility of maintaining building insurance belongs to the landlord.

Keeping this in mind, renters should always check their insurance policies to see if insurance would cover living expenses in the event of a disaster making an apartment unlivable; ultimately, renters are responsible for their belongings and their living expenses, but not for the damages that could affect an apartment complex following a natural disaster.

3. Evaluating Your Auto Insurance Policy

As we’ve discussed before, basic auto insurance offers skeletal protections for policy holders – and unfortunately damages due to natural disasters are not included in a basic policy. Many comprehensive auto insurance policies also cover the collateral losses that can take place as a direct result of a natural disaster, such as vandalism, theft (looting) and animal damages. It’s highly recommended that central Pennsylvanians invest in auto insurance that covers each of these scenarios.

So…what now? 

No one ever thinks they’ll be involved in a natural disaster. But after the events of last week, everyone watching the news should be asking themselves, “How much damage would my insurance cover if that happened to me?”

Many studies indicate that well over half of the insurance policies held in this country would not adequately cover natural disaster damages. With ever changing weather forecasts looming ahead, now is the perfect time to review your homeowner/renter and auto insurance policies. We strongly encourage you to schedule a personal assistance meeting with one of our Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency staff members. Our representatives in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, or in any other nearby counties will help you take inventory of your valuables to ensure that your insurance policy covers all of your possessions – and not just the structure of your home. We’ll also make sure that your insurance policy is affordable while still offering comprehensive coverage that will offer enough living expenses to cover the costs of temporary lodging, food, and other necessities in the event of a natural disaster.

Put simply, our job is to make sure that Mother Nature doesn’t become your worst enemy this summer – so give us a call and make sure that you’re thoroughly covered and properly protected today!

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Are You A Renter? Make Sure Your Property’s Truly Protected.

When it comes to rented living spaces, it’s not just the landlords that need insurance coverage. If you are currently renting an apartment or even a home, it’s in your best interest to invest in an insurance plan made just for renters.

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Rather than relying on any basic coverage that may come with your rented property, it’s in renters’ best interest to purchase additional coverage. Renters insurance plans protect you in unexpected situations, including fire, theft, water damage and so forth; with the national average of renters insurance working out to less than $14 a month, renters insurance is one of the most affordable and important insurance packages you can purchase if you live in an apartment or rented home.

Consider the protections that renters insurance offers:

1. Personal Property Protection: Renters insurance offers financial assistance if you have to replace any stolen or damaged items on your property – from furniture to computers to clothing – that result from a fire, windstorm, lightning, theft or vandalism.

2. Liability Coverage: Accidents happen. Whether you accidentally cause damage in your rented space, to your neighbor’s space – or even accidentally cause harm to a guest or neighbor – renters insurance covers your personal liability damages. 

3. Loss-of-Use Coverage and Living Expenses: Disaster can leave an apartment or rented home temporarily uninhabitable. People with renters insurance are provided living expenses for temporary relocation in these situations.

While some apartment complexes offer insurance programs to residents, it never hurts to get a third set of eyes to evaluate your coverage and make sure that it’s just right for you, as well as help you find the right insurance plan if you don’t have one yet. We highly encourage all renters to inventory their personal belongings and to meet with someone on our Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency staff.

Based on your feedback and on the risk factors of the area you live in, we can help you find or even customize the perfect renters plan for your needs. Whether you live in the Johnstown area or even in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, and any other nearby counties, our local contacts will always be there to help you.

Don’t spend another day living in an unprotected apartment or rental home – contact us now!

**Image courtesy of Flickr user longlostcousin