Insurance, Natural Disasters and Your Chattanooga Home

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As Hurricane Matthew is creating a path of destruction along the coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, one of the major topics that will be on the minds of millions of people is insurance. Here in the Chattanooga area, while hurricanes are not an issue, we have our own storm season during the uncertainty of Spring in the Tennessee Valley. Reflecting back on the 2011 tornado outbreak in the region, many homeowners found themselves coming face to face with the harsh realities of proper coverage on your home.

With coastal residents facing the realities of proper insurance coverage in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, now is a great time to evaluate your home insurance coverage before the Spring storm season is upon us once again. Atlas Insurance Agency has provided a great starting point for Chattanooga area homeowners to ensure they are properly covered to face whatever comes our way.

Home Insurance Premium: How often should coverage be reviewed?

ANSWER: Typically, home insurance should be reviewed in two situations: 1) every time that coverage renews and 2) every time there is a major change to the insured’s living situation.

First, it is recommended that every insured go over an insurance policy to make sure coverages are correct every time the policy renews. For example, if the insurance policy renews every six months, the insured should take the time to review coverages and information for correctness and completeness every six months.

Second, home insurance should be reviewed any time there is a major change to an insured’s living situation. Two examples would be if a relative moves in with the insured’s family, or if a valuable item of personal property has been purchased, such as jewelry or fine art. Another time to review would be if you are building a new shed, outbuilding, garage or other major home remodel or update, as this could be time to increase your home building coverages.

Does standard homeowner’s insurance cover everything, including wind damage? What other insurance would be wise to carry?

ANSWER: A homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover everything, but there are a few rules to go by; and there are definitely some other insurance coverages an insured should consider adding to his or her policy.

First, any insured should be familiar with his or her policy details. Under most circumstances, wind damage would be covered. However, an insured must look at his or her policy in order to understand the specifics. For example, though wind damage should be covered by an insured’s policy, the deductible might be high, and thus the insurance company would not be liable for any part of a potential claim. Not all policies will cover replacement on the roof; policies sometimes only cover Actual Cash Value (ACV), which takes off for depreciation (or age of roof).

Second, there are many different types of insurance that an insured might consider as an addition to the standard homeowner’s policy. Two examples: Flood and Earthquake insurance. Flood and earthquake damages are not covered in a standard policy, and therefore might be considered important to a potential insured.

Atlas Insurance Agency LLC is an independent insurance agency located in Chattanooga, TN that is licensed in TN and GA. At Atlas Insurance, they focus on their clients' needs, evaluate their risk and provide guidance and direction on products and carriers that will provide the coverage they need at the value they expect.  Atlas Insurance provides all types of property and casualty insurance including business, home and auto insurance. Their office can be reached at (423) 822-5263.