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February 19, 2013

Blame it on the Weather

red brick houseSome people don’t purchase the Raleigh home insurance they need because they think they can’t afford it. One of the most common reasons people avoid purchasing insurance is because they live in an area that is prone to bad weather such as hurricanes, ice storms or tornadoes. Some homeowners reason that premiums will be unaffordable because of weather conditions. However, this doesn’t really make sense, as the cost of replacing your home yourself after a storm is certainly far greater than the cost of insurance.

Purchase Separate Insurance

If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, fire or flood, make sure you purchase separate insurance to cover these eventualities. Most homeowners insurance does not cover “Acts of God;” any type of weather emergency requires separate coverage.

If you know you live in a high-risk area, get this insurance as soon as possible so that you won’t have to worry about replacing your home or your possessions yourself. Even if you aren’t at particular risk, it’s often a good idea to get coverage for weather damage in case of a surprise storm.

WeatherProof Your Home

If you’re worried about premiums, don’t skip weather coverage. Instead, weatherproof your home so that you will sustain as little damage as possible. Weatherproofing can help minimize the risk of loss; many insurance companies also offer substantial discounts if you weatherproof your home. Here’s some ways you can do that.

  • Install storm windows to protect against hurricanes or tornadoes.
  • Don’t store valuables in your basement and install devices that prevent water from entering the basement during a flood.
  • Use toilet sealing to stop sewage from getting into your home.
  • Strengthen roof shingles so the roof is less likely to be damaged in a storm.

Some or all of these types of improvements may entitle you to discounts on your weather insurance, depending on your policy and your area’s risk factors.

Consider Raising Deductibles

Another way to save on your weather insurance is to raise your deductibles — the amount you pay out of pocket for damages before you are entitled to payments from insurance.  If you live in a low-risk area but want weather coverage in case of a freak storm, you may want to raise your deductibles. That way, you’ll have some coverage but won’t pay as much into your insurance.

You need to consider your risk factors carefully when deciding about deductibles. If you are in a high risk area, it may be better to pay more for a lower deductible. Decide whether you want to pay more upfront in premiums or more in the event your home is damaged.

Weather insurance isn’t cheap, but not having it when you need it is ultimately more expensive.  If you would like more information on what type of weather policy may be more right for you, please call ACF Insurance Services at 919-878-7786.

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