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A severe event, such as a storm, can worry any property owner. If you face home insurance claims for hurricanes, flooding or other significant damage, don't worry. Your first step should be to speak to your insurance agent about the situation. Often, insurers will set up a process to help you know exactly what to do.

When Is a Weather Event a Catastrophe?

The Insurance Information Institute (III) provides some explanations about true disasters. Insurers refer to large-scale events as catastrophes. This occurs when a natural or a man-made event occurs and results in severe damage. A catastrophe can also occur when numerous policyholders will have claims.

The insurance industry expects claims to reach a specific dollar threshold. Most commonly, it occurs when a single event causes damage in excessive of $25 million or more.

How Likely Is a Catastrophe?

The III notes that hurricanes and tropical storms are a big factor when it comes to catastrophes. From 1993 through 2012, these types of weather caused 40.4 percent of all catastrophe losses. Tornadoes make up 36 percent of those claims. Other catastrophes that led to significant losses included winter storms, terrorism and earthquakes.

Hurricane Katrina was the single most severe event from an insurance standpoint, according to the III. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, occurring in 2017, may also top that list.

What About Your Home Insurance?

When a catastrophe occurs, take the actions recommended by local officials. Following these instructions is important for your well-being. Then, once the event is over or you are safe, call your home insurance agency. It can take time for organizations to get back to you. However, many insurers now allow individuals to file initial claims online. Check your insurer's website for more information on catastrophe reporting.

Document all damage present at your home. Do this before cleaning up. Take photos, write down all items lost or thrown out as a result of the damage. Gather any important papers. Hold onto anything you can or delay cleanup, if possible until your insurer arrives.

Many types of catastrophes can occur. Home insurance may provide compensation for them, up to the dollar amount on your policy. Before the next event occurs, take the time to update your policy. Be sure it reflects what you could lose in this type of event.

Need Exton home insurance? Call Miller's Insurance Agency, Inc. at (610) 269-4500 for a fast, convenient policy quote.

Posted 8:15 PM

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