Do these things now to save money on home storm damage

Published: Mar. 5, 2020 at 7:55 AM CST
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Some insurance companies are changing coverage for Kansas homeowners. Dylan Hartnett, agency owner of American Family Insurance says claims made from wind and hail damage may be under a separate deductible.

He says agents attempt to notify all clients, but it's possible you may not know about the change. Again, not all implemented the separate deductible, but you should know if your agency did. He recommends meeting with your insurance agent.

"If you're not checking your mail regularly or anything like that. if you're not staying up and meeting with your insurance agent on a regular basis. it's definitely possible that it could have slipped under the radar," Hartnett says.

Thunderstorms threaten not only your home, but also your car. Hartnett says in 2019, a hail storm during a weekday afternoon damaged cars while people were at work.

Before the threat of severe weather, you should update your home inventory.

Hartnett says after a disaster, agents need to all the contents of your home. You may think that your furniture is old and not worth much, but replacing everything with new items adds up.

Homeowners can track inventory with receipts, lists and pictures. Hartnett says big-ticket items like furniture and electronics are easy to remember, but you should also take pictures of your closets, pots and pans and even cleaning supplies.

Winter weather is hard on homes as well. Checking around your property for damage and making repairs can save your wallet from larger, more costly repairs later in spring.

Ice and snow are heavy. Check that the gutters around your roof are still attached, and the downspouts move the water away from your home. Winter precipitation is also hard on your trees. Heavy winds can throw limbs into power lines or your home, so trim your trees.

Homeowners should also check the slope near the foundation of the home.

"If you look at the drainage of your house, sometimes you'll see you have negative draining of water going into your basement. So if you have a slope to where the water is running into your house and not away from it, that's one of the most common things that we see that people have really big issues on," Hartnett says.

When rainwater enters the home, insurance companies consider it a flood. It is not covered unless the home has flood coverage. Homeowners can move more dirt near the foundation of the home and extend downspouts to prevent this problem.