Hurricane Harvey has unleashed a world of destruction and heartache on many families, individuals, businesses, and their property. Insurance will play a big role in helping them recover, and in being prepared for future challenges.
There is no question that the loss of loved ones, and the dire conditions many will have to live through in the coming months is the biggest tragedy. There are really no words that can immediately comfort those living through this, and their extended family.
Yet, it is also vital that those affected use their insurances to help in the recovery, and ensure they have solid coverage to help protect themselves, their families, and gain compensation when needed, through future disasters. This applies not only to hurricanes, but snowstorms, wildfires, acts of terrorism, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Wherever you live there is likely a threat of one of these, each year.
When disaster strikes it is vital to be prepared. Aside from being physically safe, and trying to protect your physical property as much as possible, that also means having access to your insurance company's’ contact information. You need to report that damage fast, and when safe document it yourself as well.
Homeowners insurance is a general type of coverage to provide compensation in the case of common issues like theft or fire. However, it typically won’t cover disasters like hurricanes, and flooding. Windstorm and flood insurance, or other special insurances may or may not be mandatory when you buy your home or a business property. They can still be smart to have, especially as we are increasingly experiencing disasters which seem to be have less frequent in the past.
Another essential form of real estate insurance is title insurance. The title and rights to use your property can be under threat and at risk far more often than hurricanes come through. Failing to get the right type of deed, paperwork mix ups, fraud, and challenges to your title by opportunists, can make super important to have coverage and legal help. A storm may cause a leak in your roof, or put an inch of water on your floor. Losing title to your home will mean losing everything. In those scenarios there is a good chance you can still be on the hook for mortgages and other debts, even if the property is taken away from you. That can have very long term financial consequences. Never purchase a home, condo, or business property without it.
Life insurance may be a smart move too. In many other countries home buyers are required to take out life insurance when they get a home loan. This makes sure any mortgages can be paid off, and the property can be passed on to heirs, even if the worst happens.
Our hearts go out to all those impacted by hurricane Harvey and any other storms on their way this season. Insurance may not heal the heartache, but it can go a long way to help in rebuilding and providing for those you love. Make sure you are covered.