Annually, the states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Neveda and California experiences an array of natural disasters, from wildfires to floods, which all affect the residents and in turn their Business and Homeowner insurance needs. The Department of Insurance in all these states offer advice to both home and business owners on how best to protect themselves from natural disaster losses in their state. Most don’t need to worry about the cars and trucks since these policies cover perils forthe most part excluded for most Business Owner, Commercial Building and Individual Homeowners Insurance Policies.
First, most Homeowners insurance and Renters Insurance policies do not cover the type of damage that comes from wildfires. A wildfire changes the landscape significantly, even increasing the risks of floods and mudslides in the affected areas. A combination of these disasters affected thousands of residents and business owners in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California which were affected by both wildfire and flooding.
Floods cause unspeakable damage and costs millions in insurance and flood recovery, and possibly more after a wildfire which damages the plant life that buffers against surges of flood water. It is ideal to purchase flood insurance cover separately from other insurance, and it carries a 30 day waiting period.
Every home and business owner should also learn about wildfire preparedness by having an updated inventory of their personal and business assets. Practical safety measures should also be taken, such as clearing the areas surrounding one’s home to keep fire away.
In the case of a disaster, homeowner’s insurance cover only caters for the cost to rebuild the damaged structures and not the market value of the home. Homeowners, however, do under-insure their property and end up facing losses that exceed the market value of their properties. To avoid any unexpected losses in the case of a disaster, homeowners are encouraged to notify their insurers in case of structural changes on their homes, such as room additions, or acquisition of additional belongings like appliances and furniture.
Disasters such as floods and wildfires often require evacuations, an aspect of disaster preparedness that most individuals do not consider. Individuals are advised to find policies that cover “additional living expenses”, which ideally include meals, living facilities and transport expenses if evacuated during the disaster or even during repairs to damaged property.
The best protection against insurance losses is to think of all possible scenarios that may arise in case of fires, floods or mudslides. Residents of of every state should make use of the National Flood Insurance Program and other resources to stay prepared and well insured.
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