Protecting Yourself When Severe Weather Strikes - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Protecting Yourself When Severe Weather Strikes

You know what to do when storms come your way, but are your prepared "before" disaster strikes?

That's where many folks fall flat.  

While a cheaper insurance policy may save you in the short term, it may not cover everything.  

So if you aren't careful, the first time you look at your insurance policy may leave a lasting image on you, and your wallet.

"Make sure you know what happens if that tornado hits or if that hurricane hits," said State Farm Agent Pat Parker. "Do you need flood insurance? What does your homeowner's cover? What is your deductible? Do I have a higher deductible if there's a hurricane? Is the deductible different, tornado vs. hurricane?"

Many of the smaller insurance companies promise lower prices, but also give you less coverage.

Flood and wind damage can be two different policies and can be excluded in the fine print of your contract.

"Cheaper is not always better because sometimes cheaper means that you are having with overages you don't realize that are very important," explains Parker. "A large part of an insurance company's insurance premium for homeowners is going to be based on wind related activity and if they exclude that coverage where tornadoes and hurricanes are not covered, then all of a sudden they can make that premium lower and more attractive to the consumer."

Here is some more important advice.

Make sure both your flood and wind damage is covered in your policy. Some smaller companies don't cover wind disasters.

Have a conversation with your insurance agent.

Go over your policy so you understand it, and there are no surprises when you need coverage.

And do all this before severe weather happens, not after.

Then it's too late.

For instance, many insurance companies have a 30 day waiting period - which means you can't buy a policy when a storm hits the Atlantic.

For more disaster preparedness tips, just go to www.ready.gov. They have a full list.

Or you can go to your personal insurance company's web site, where they also break down the information and numbers.

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