Although you might wish that it’s always sunny in Philadelphia, if you think apartments in Philadelphia are immune from damage caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and floods and that you don’t need to insure against these natural disasters you may want to think again. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), nearly half of American homeowners and renters lack the insurance coverage to deal with potential losses.
In a recent NAIC national survey, about 48% of renters said they did not have an inventory of their possessions. Of those respondents who reported having a checklist, 32% had not taken any pictures and 58% had no receipts documenting and supporting the cost of their possessions. In addition, 44% of respondents acknowledged that they had not stored their inventory in a separate location.
The NAIC offers some helpful tips to help you prepare for disasters:
You should take an inventory of your valuables and belongings. You should include photographs or a video of each room. You can accomplish this in just a few minutes with a digital camera or cell phone. This documentation will provide your insurance company evidence of your belongings and help process claims more quickly in the event of disaster. To enable filing claims more quickly, keep sales receipts and canceled checks. Also note the model and serial numbers of the items in your home inventory. Remember to include in your home inventory those items you rarely use such as holiday decorations, sports equipment and tools.
“If you have valuable jewelry, fine art, antiques, gold or silver coins, bullion or other expensive collectibles, you may want to consider purchasing an additional floater or rider to your insurance policy to cover these valuable items,” explains Anthony Allen Anderson, VP of Sales and Marketing at GSI Exchange, these types of items typically are often not covered by a basic homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.”
You should keep copies of all your insurance policies in a safe location away from your home that is easily accessible in case of disaster. You may want to upload your policies and inventory to a secure internet location or cloud storage or if you like things a little more “tangible” you should keep your documentation a waterproof, fireproof safe or in a safe location such as a bank safe deposit box.
When it comes to the things you value most, you should know what is and isn’t covered by your insurance policy. You might need additional protection depending on where you live or what you own. Make sure your policies are up to date. Contact your insurance provider annually to review and update your insurance policy. Keep a readily available list of 24-hour contact information for each of your insurance providers.
You should find out if your possessions are insured for the actual cash value or the replacement cost. Actual cash value is the amount it would take to repair or replace your home and possessions after depreciation, while replacement cost is the amount it would take to repair or replace your home or possessions without deducting for depreciation. Speak with your insurance provider to determine whether purchasing replacement coverage is worth the cost.
Consider speaking with your insurance provider to find out if your policy covers additional living expenses for a temporary residence if you are unable to live in your Philadelphia apartment due to damage from a disaster.