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Insurance Prep for the Winter Storm Season

The cat may be out of the bag already. This season's big winter storm - which may be the worst to hit northern California in several years -  had already begun when I received a news release from the Department of Insurance urging consumers to review their insurance policies before the winter storms hits. Still, the release contained some useful advice that can still be acted on, so I thought I should pass some of the Department's tips along.

Update your home inventory. With the smart devices available to most of us these days, there is no excuse not to have good and readily available records of personal property. Make sure your inventory of valuables is complete. Take photos and videos of jewelry and other valuable items, make notes on valuations and appraisals to accompany the photos, and store them in the Cloud where the storm and its effects cannot reach them.

Scan important documents. Likewise, scan and save copies of important documents such as deeds, mortgages, title insurance policies, and other insurance policies and documents. Then make sure you have saved them in a reliable digital location: the Cloud, an email system, or a portable drive.

Review and understand your coverage. The Department of Insurance gave the following advice: "Generally a traditional homeowner’s policy does not cover flood damage, but roof damage caused by wind or damage caused by falling trees may be covered. This is also true for auto policies. Winter storms and wet roads bring some of the most treacherous conditions, so it is crucial that drivers make sure they are covered and that they understand that coverage. Reading the list of exclusions is an important part of understanding your coverage."

Have your emergency evacuation kit ready and secure outdoor items. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. 

The bottom line is that if your property is damaged by the winter storms, you will be in a better position to recover on your insurance claims quickly and to the fullest extent if you do a little prep work now.

Alex Pfeifer
Pfeifer Insurance Brokers
650 762-8087 or alex@pfeiferins.com
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