With recent damage caused by severe storms in Minnesota and neighboring states, Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman is offering a quick checklist of insurance precautions and preparations to help Minnesotans plan ahead in the event that disaster strikes.
“When severe weather hits, having the right insurance coverage can mean the difference between financial recovery and financial disaster,” said Rothman, whose agency regulates insurance companies in the state. “Now is the time to review your insurance needs and coverage to make sure you are protected in case of a tornado, flooding or other severe weather.”
The Commerce Department website features a Disaster Information Center with guidance about how you can plan ahead and what to do if you suffer storm damage.
Rothman also offers the following tips to help Minnesotans prepare for severe weather.
Check your homeowner’s insurance coverage to keep it up to date, especially if you have remodeled or added valuable new items to your home. Make sure your policy will cover the entire cost of rebuilding your home or replacing lost or damaged possessions.
If you rent, consider renters insurance. Your landlord’s insurance policy typically covers only the building structure, but not your possessions as a tenant.
Make an inventory of your personal property, including model and serial numbers, to make it easier to file a claim if you suffer storm damage. Consider making a photo or video record, and then store it in a secure place where it can be easily retrieved if your home is damaged.
Decide whether you need flood insurance because standard homeowners or renters insurance does not cover flood damage. Coverage against flood risk must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program, and policies have a 30-day waiting period before they take effect. For more information, visit floodsmart.gov or call 888-379-9531.
Check that your auto policy will cover damage from hail, falling trees or flooding. For this protection, your policy should include “Comprehensive” or “Other than Collision” coverage.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Commerce
If you have a question or concern about insurance, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).