What to know about your home insurance policy before disaster strikes

Those affected by the April 29, 2022, tornado that hit rural Sedgwick County, Andover and then rural Butler County are now moving back into rebuilt homes.

It’s bittersweet for some, who have found their insurance coverage wasn’t enough to refurnish their homes or, in some cases, enough to rebuild.

Natural disasters, like hurricanes, have increased insurance premiums, causing some people to try to save money at the cost of losing some coverage, said Vonda Copeland, a board member of the Kansas Association of Professional Insurance Agents.

“They have to make sure they are getting enough insurance for their risk tolerance,” she said.

Lessons learned: Survivors of 2022 Kansas tornado move home, make changes

Here are the ways she says you can make sure your insurance policy is enough and that it covers everything you have:

  • Have a conversation with your insurance agent to find out what is covered. Some of the biggest things to know are if the policy pays out enough to cover rebuilding the home and property based on current market prices and if the payout for contents is based on depreciation or the actual cost of replacing it.

  • Know the specifics of the policy on big items. For example, he said, items like guns, jewelry and art could have a maximum payout. If those items are worth more than the payout, the insurance company may need to get them appraised in order to cover the full cost of replacing them.

  • Keep a spreadsheet, preferably online, of all the items you have. Check and update the list yearly.

  • Take photos and/or videos of all your stuff, especially the more expensive items. Those photos or videos should be stored on the Internet. They can also be sent to your insurance agent for them to keep on file.

For renters, adding insurance can ensure belongings are covered in case of a disaster. Renters’ insurance it costs an average of $15-20 a monthaccording to National Mutual Insurance Company.

There is still an option to get some help after last year’s tornado. United Way has paid out just over $250,000 of nearly $900,000 raised. Affected families can call United Way at 211 to see if they are eligible to help.

Related Posts

Previous post The Dotted Line: How to craft contracts to avoid disputes and keep legal fees down
Next post Bill to restrict insurance company use of wildfire risk maps heads to Gov. Kotek