South Carolina Insurance Commissioner Heeds Hanna’s Build-up

September 4, 2008

As Tropical Storm Hanna strengthens and takes aim at the Carolinas, the South Carolina Department of Insurance reminds homeowners to review their insurance policies and brace for potential damage.

“We urge South Carolinians to stay tuned to the weather reports, review their emergency plans and prepare their homes and businesses for damaging winds and rain that will come ashore with the storm,” said Department of Insurance Director Scott Richardson.

Richardson urges citizens to review the following tips in implementing family emergency plans:

• Take an inventory of valuables and belongings by taking photographs or a video of each room. This documentation will provide your insurance company with proof of your belongings and help to process claims more quickly in the event of disaster.
• Remember to inventory rarely used home items (e.g., holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, etc.).
• To enable filing claims more quickly, keep sales receipts and/or canceled checks. Also note the model and serial numbers of the items in the home inventory.
• Store copies of all your insurance policies in a safe location away from your home that is easily accessible in case of disaster. Consider leaving a copy of the inventory with relatives, friends or an insurance provider and store digital pictures in e-mail or on a Web site for easy retrieval.
• Know what is and is not covered by your insurance policy. Make sure policies are up to date. Contact insurance providers annually to review and update your insurance policy.
• Keep a readily available list of 24-hour contact information for insurance providers. Take this list as well as copies of insurance policies when evacuating.
• Find out if possessions are insured for the actual cash value or the replacement cost. Actual cash value is the amount it would take to repair or replace damage to a home or possessions after depreciation while replacement cost is the amount it would take to repair or replace a home or possessions without deducting for depreciation. Speak with an insurance provider to determine whether purchasing replacement coverage is worth the cost.
• Speak with an insurance provider to find out if your policy covers additional living expenses for a temporary residence if the residence is uninhabitable due to damage from a disaster.
• Make certain yard items are tied down or secured. Bicycles, grills, toys, unsecured benches and any other items not tied down should be placed inside an enclosed building. These items become missiles during a tornado or hurricane.

Source: South Carolina Department of Insurance

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