Financial Recovery After Disaster: Insurance Coverage


the University of Minnesota Extension
and North Dakota State University Extension Service have developed Recovery After Disaster: The Familiy Financial Toolkit to assist in financial recovery from
disaster the toolkit is free and available at
this website In a perfect world we would be prepared
for disaster but we know that this is not always the
case this video series has been developed to assist in the
immediate need for financial recovery information following a disaster the six videos in this series will
identify important financial considerations for your disaster
recovery following a disaster insurance can be a
key piece to the puzzle for a successful recovery in this video we will discuss the
different types of insurance and which disasters they cover plus how
and when to contact your insurance agent start by determining what type of
insurance you have and if it covers the type of disaster
that has damaged your home using insurance language, the cause of
a disaster is called a peril. Your insurance agent will be
your best source of this information call your agent don’t make assumptions
about what is covered and what isn’t ask your agent. Well it’s important to
know what your plan our policy actually covers I
think a lot of people assume because they’ve had a home before or had
homeowners insurance for a long time that it covers things that maybe it doesn’t
so it’s always good to review what your policy does and doesn’t cover
so that you’re not making big assumptions about the kinds
of benefits you should be getting maybe they were in your policy to begin with
well the first thing was they offered reassurance you know that this is covered your policy covers
this type of a disaster so rest assured we’ll take care of you. I had
no clue and thank heavens he did, he knew everything that I needed to do so that was very reassuring if your
insurance policy has been lost in the disaster ask your
insurance agent for a copy if you don’t have a copy of your policy
you can always contact the insurance company to get one they may refer you to their website, also companies now have a standard policy on their website
or a way that you can download it. Basic
homeowners insurance will generally cover fire, lightning, hale, explosion, riots, civil commotion, damage from aircrafts or
vehicles, smoke, vandalism, malicious mischief, theft, and broken glass basic homeowners insurance covers the
structure of the home personal property, loss of use and other
structures on the property renters may also purchase insurance to
cover personal property and loss of use caused by a disaster
individuals may want to investigate other types of insurance to maximize
coverage so if you’re a renter a landlord’s homeowners insurance wouldn’t
cover your actual possessions and so as a renter you really want to be
covering the things that are inside your actual possessions. And that
would include your TV and your gaming system and your furniture things that are not included in your
tenant’s lease additional insurance policies would need
to be purchased to cover damage caused by floods earthquakes and hurricanes they are not
covered under basic homeowners insurance it was a huge relief a little bit guilt I didn’t know anybody else that had
flood insurance um and I didn’t wanna talk about it I
didn’t wanna say well I’m OK but I had a lot of friends that didn’t
and it was it was very difficult watching
them struggle with their finances and trying to figure
out how they’re gonna pay for this and what they were gonna do flood insurance policies are provided
through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program and purchased through your local
insurance agent homeowners can purchase flood insurance only if their municipality participates
in the National Flood Insurance Program typically there is a 30-day waiting
period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect be
sure to check with your insurance agent to determine your coverage if you have completed a home inventory
prior to a disaster this is the time to put it to use
documenting your loss and damage is very important when working with
insurance if you have a detailed inventory of your personal property
before the disaster that will be very helpful now but if not gather as much information about your
damaged property as possible unit 4 of the family financial toolkit provides a worksheet for documenting
lost and damaged property a disaster recovery log smartphone
application is also available to download for use on
your phone if possible written documentation should
include the manufacturer model, serial number, age of item, value
when new, and the damage incurred. We call them a
proof of loss and that really ranges from receipts to owners manuals, pictures of your property but again if you did a
home inventory at the beginning some of that stuff might be in order and
also an when you’re purchasing a policy often your insurance agent will walk through an inventory
that they might have and that might suffice as well. Consider
taking photos and/or video footage of the damage to
your home to support written documentation of the loss. Before
we moved out we took photos of the various rooms in the house and
the surfaces and then when we gutted during that process we took photographs
again and all that got sent to my insurance
agent document damage to all household items
no matter how small if possible find sales slips and
receipts for high-value items such as appliances, computers and
entertainment systems such documents will show proof of
purchase, date purchased, and purchase price all of which will be
useful when filing insurance claims search your
property for these documents and secure them before volunteers, family, and friends begin to help with
the cleanup so they are not thrown away by mistake your insurance may cover loss of use and provide funds for you and your
family to live elsewhere while your home is being repaired loss
of use could include temporary housing, moving costs, temporary storage, fees for
laundry and parking check with your insurance
agent so for instance if you have a fire in your kitchen and you need to feed your
family but you’re finding that you’re going out
to eat instead loss of use covers the excess amount of what you would normally have paid to use for instance, your kitchen so in
this example if it costs you twenty-five dollars
in groceries to feed your family but you finding that you’re eating out and eating out costs you
thirty-five dollars loss of use covers the difference
following a disaster insurance coverage is always considered
the first type assistance used to repair damage even in a federally declared disaster
when FEMA is involved if your insurance settlement is less
than FEMA’s estimated cost to make your home habitable you may qualify for funds to supplement
your insurance settlement to meet unmet needs the video FEMA and SBA provides more information
regarding applying for federal assistance when there’s a FEMA event essentially
your own insurance has to be used first and so if you have
flood insurance and you have flooded of if you have on sewage backup
insurance All of that needs to be touched first it’s
important that you register for FEMA immediately and everyone should register for FEMA
whether or not their a renter or they are a home owner anything that it
doesn’t cover that’s what the disaster and emergency funds are for and that again is if your area is declared
a disaster area in the last few minutes we have heard
about the different types of insurances and what types of disasters they cover
we have talked about the importance of documenting the damage in your home plus the importance of contacting your
insurance agent it is important to recognize that your
life will never be exactly the same as it was consider what you want your new reality
to look like knowing your insurance agent and your
insurance coverage may help you frame your new reality we
encourage you to review all of the financial recovery after disaster videos the family financial toolkit and other
materials at this website

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