Insurance agents talk protecting your home from storm damage ahead of Hurricane Sally

Updated: Sep. 15, 2020 at 9:41 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - As Hurricane Sally prepares to make landfall, many people who live on the coast and inland are busy prepping their homes before the storm hits.

There is one way to assure all your bases are covered before a national disaster strikes – homeowner insurance.

There is no way to completely protect your home from flooding or damage, but what you can do is look into getting a homeowners or business insurance policy along with a flood policy, which is separate.

As Hurricane Sally travels towards the Gulf Coast ans expected to have impacts in the Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus-based insurance agent, Connie Wilkes, said now is the time to start surveying your property and take note of what could be a potential hazard if faced with adverse weather.

“Hurricanes are a lot of times, high winds and wind damage," Wilkes said. "But it’s trees and lightening and all of that peripheral damage and parallel stuff, that’s where we see most of the claims.”

Another factor homeowners should consider is flooding. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 375 claims for flood-related damage have already been filed for 2020.

Having a flood policy in place ahead of natural disasters could potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars in costly repair work, according to Dewana Davis, FEMA Region IV flood insurance liaison.

“One inch of flooding can cost you up to $25,000 in damage or repairs due to the damage caused,” Davis said.

Wilkes said it’s important to check your roof for any loose shingles that could lead to a leak, along with making sure you properly document all your valuables if you already have an insurance policy, which could speed up the claims process.

“Just taking your phone and camcording your house, and your closets, and your drawers, and things like that because if you have a situation where you have a loss and it can’t be recovered, it’s hard to remember what you had,” Wilkes said.

Something you can do Tuesday night, make sure any tax documents, legal identification papers, or health records are stored in a waterproof case.

There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance coverage kicks in, whereas with homeowners or renter’s insurance, there is no waiting period. If possible, it’s best to plan ahead.

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