What To Do Now And When The Storm Ends
If Hurricane Sandy hit your home, you've probably lost something, from a few shingles to the whole shebang. If you've planned well, you can keep your losses as low as possible. And if you haven't planned well, you can take action now to minimize your losses in the next disaster.
The best thing you could have done before Sandy struck was make an inventory of your house and your possessions. There's even an app for that if you still want to do it. Go to the Insurance Information Institute's website (www.iii.org/software) and download its home inventory app. The app lets you enter information on where you bought your possessions and how much they cost. All the information is stored remotely, so even if your iPhone gets swept out to sea, you'll still have a record of what you lost. Make sure you know your insurance policy number -- and, if possible, where a copy of your policy is. If you haven't read your policy, this is a very good time to review it. "Reading a policy isn't exciting, but it's very important," says John Egan, editor of InsuranceQuotes.com.
Most policies will cover wind damage, and they will cover water damage if a tree crashes into your roof. But flood damage typically requires a separate policy. "There are many people who find out the hard way that flooding can cause a lot of damage," Egan says. Most flood insurance policies kick in 30 days after you sign them.