Check Your Policy

Physician's Money Digest, December31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 24

If you haven't reviewed your homeowner'sinsurance lately, the disastroushurricane season that Floridians andothers went through this year should bea wakeup call. Take a close look at theexclusions and you'll find that many naturalhazards, such as earthquakes andfloods, aren't covered. If you live in anarea that is prone to either, you shouldconsider separate insurance that willcover you. You'll probably also discoverthat coverage of items like jewelry, furs,and computer equipment is limited to aspecified dollar figure. Talk to yourinsurance agent about a rider to increaseyour coverage on items like these. Also,look into an ordinance or law rider tocover rebuilding your home to complywith existing municipal codes that maynot have been in effect when the housewas originally built. If available, buy apolicy that will cover the replacementvalue of the contents of your homerather than the actual cash value, whichfactors in depreciation.

If disaster does strike, get in touchwith your insurance company immediately.If you need to do some work (eg,patching a roof or replacing windows) toprotect your home from further damage,do it right away, but first take pictures.Save all receipts for expenses like lodging,meals, and travel that are made necessarybecause of the damage. Your policy islikely to cover at least some of these costs.