Residents along the Gulf Coast of Texas can learn a lot from the experiences of those people in Florida who were victims of Hurricane Charley, according to Jerry Johns, president of Southwestern Insurance Information Service, an insurance industry trade group.
“If a hurricane or large tropical storm were to strike anywhere within the 15 coastal counties of Texas the task of filing and settling an insurance claim can be much less time consuming by following some simple steps,” Johns said.
“Many people wait until a hurricane watch is posted before they prepare helpful documentation which makes submitting a claim easier,” he said.
“Take an inventory of the possessions in your home,” he advised. “Photos or video tape recordings of these items are very helpful to claim adjusters if damage occurs.”
Review your insurance policy to be certain adequate coverage is provided. If questions arise, talk to your insurance agent, Johns said.
“Flooding is not covered by the standard Texas homeowners insurance policy,” he explained. “Insurance agents can help you find flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.”
Conservative estimates indicate that about 50 percent of those who rent apartments do not have insurance to cover their household belongings, Johns added. Now would be the time to consider purchasing renters insurance.
“A hand-written or video tape inventory as well as your homeowners insurance policy should be moved to a safe place away from the path of the storm to avoid damage,” he said.
Johns said business owners should follow the same precautions as well as a few others.
“Company files should be stored offline and digital photos should be taken of all equipment such as computers and office furniture,” he noted. “Important documents should be scanned and stored in a safe location.”
“It is far too early for the experts to predict the direction of Hurricane Frances, but now, not later, is the time to begin thinking about taking action which will make claim filing easier,” he concluded.
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