DENVER (KDVR) — Your home and property represent a huge investment. Insurance experts say checking your existing policy and doing what you can to mitigate damage before a storm rolls in can prevent financial losses and inconvenience.
Kim Alire of Risk Management Partners told the FOX31 Problem Solvers the most common claims her office sees after intense wind storms involve roof and siding damage.
“If a tree falls onto the vehicle the comprehensive coverage would take care of the car, at your home you just need your homeowner policy,” she said.
When liability is in question, there may be an investigation.
Alire provides a common example.
“We know that the neighbor’s tree has been broken for years and they haven’t done anything to remove the tree, if we can show negligence I would say then go after that neighbor‘s insurance policy,” she said.
Insurance policies in Colorado have special wind and hail clauses due to frequent storms in the spring and winter seasons.
Alire explains, “since we live in Colorado it’s higher than your regular policy deductible, so a fire claim may have a $1,000 deductible but a wind and hail claim may have a higher deductible than that,” she said.
The deductibles represent percentages of the home’s value.
Policyholders can check their coverage online and in many cases even add coverage that will take effect before a storm rolls in. Make sure to read the fine print and speak with an agent for confirmation.
In addition to the right amount of coverage, protecting your property from flying objects is crucial.
Bella Sara Salon owner Jennifer Heath secured her business but said she doesn’t want to come home to a nightmare after an intense storm.
Heath tells FOX31 she is working to “pretty much just move anything that can go airborne.”
Since the last storm, Heath has reinforced fencing, which meant she had to have a crew “custom hand dig holes in the ground four feet because every time we get high winds it would take my fences down.”
Safety experts tell the Problem Solvers it’s important to nail down benches, reinforce windows, move items away from low tree branches and check latches on pools and jacuzzies.
Holiday decorations and high winds are not a good combination. Delicate adornments and inflatable features should be removed or deflated before a storm.
Xcel warns that downed power lines should be avoided and reported.
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