What you should do NOW to prepare for a Superstorm like Sandy.

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Hurricane season starts this week. What did we learn from Superstorm Sandy.  Are you prepared for another Superstorm Sandy?

Here are some tips to help you prepare.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania area was fortunate compared to our neighbors in New Jersey and New York.  If you have a home down the shore then you were most likely affected in some way by Superstorm Sandy. The companies Spencer Insurance Agency represent did an outstanding job.  Many of our clients gave them high marks.

What impact will Sandy have on your homeowner’s policy and what can you do to mitigate losses from the next Sandy?

Even before Sandy, insurance companies in Pennsylvania were struggling with the increase in losses due to weather and in particular, thunderstorms, in our area.  In the last three years we have seen numerous wind, hail, water, flood, and tree damage from these storms.  Homeowner’s insurance rates are inadequate to handle the trend of these storms.

Why should you care? If you have a home in Florida or on the New Jersey coast, you know the limited choices you have when purchasing homeowner’s insurance.  If insurance companies in Pennsylvania do not make a profit then they will stop offering homeowner’s insurance. Competition will decrease causing prices to rise, reduction in coverage, and poor claim service.

You should expect rates to increase, so what can you do to limit your premium increase and mitigate future losses?  The first thing you need to know is that your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy is not a home warranty.  Homeowner’s Policies reimburse you for sudden, unexpected and accidental losses to your home, not wear and tear.  The second thing you need to know is that if you have not had a loss you are most likely getting a substantial loss free credit on your homeowner’s policy premium which could be as much as 20%.  Like auto policies, when you file a claim you will be surcharged for that loss even if it was your first claim in 10 years (Please don’t shoot the messenger!) groundhog

Things you should consider on your homeowner’s policy:

  • Review your policy with us to make sure you have the appropriate coverage.
  • Consider increasing your deductible or adding a wind deductible.
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance even if you are in a preferred flood area.
  • Schedule your valuable property on a separate policy.
  • Check the amount of “Water Backup” coverage you have on your policy.

 Prepare your home now:

  • Inspect your roof, flashing and siding.  Replace your roof or flashing if it is old and worn.
  • Prepare your basement before flooding occurs.   Raise items stored in the basement, make sure your sump pump has a battery backup, and think twice before making your basement a living area.
  • Landscape your home to help absorb water and keep water away from your home.
  • When you have a loss make sure you correct the problem that caused the loss so it does not happen to you again.

Our goal is to make sure you have the proper coverage at a very competitive price.  Having to file a claim is an unpleasant experience even if you have the proper coverage.  Avoid the hassles of a claim by making repairs to your home now to avoid claims.  Call us today at 215-885-2200 if you have any questions about or would like a review of your insurance.

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