Are you insured enough for the storm?

Are you insured enough for the storm?

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by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 5:53 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 28 at 11:00 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When the eye of the storm eyeballs you, it’s scary.

“It was really dark, middle of the night dark, trees were blowing in a circle” says Deb Nance who weathered the storm that hit Concord just a few weeks ago.  “A few minutes later, the whole house shook."

Nance's huge tree at the edge of her yard toppled uphill, ripping up her thick concrete driveway and just missing her neighbor’s house. It could have been an insurance debacle had Nance not been properly insured.

Gary Griffith is an insurance agent with Nationwide in south Charlotte and says most people who suffer loss out of pocket, do so because they didn’t realize what is and what isn’t covered in their policy.  

“Most people don’t know what they have until after the fact, and that’s’ what gets people upset. You didn’t tell me, I didn’t know, I thought my deductable was lower, so be prepared, call your agent, that’s his job” says Griffith.
In fact, that call should happen every year, especially if you move, buy something new, or add to your existing house. And when a major storm like Hugo of 1989 is within 24 hrs of threatening North or South Carolina, it’s too late to make changes. 

The insurance industry will not write new or change existing policies until after the storm has passed, and even then, it may be too late.
It’s been said, if you can’t afford to lose it, then you’d better protect it. If you rent, renters insurance will cover your contents and it’s fairly cheap to get. Flood insurance  will cover rising water, but your homeowner’s policy will not.
And because we live in a tree city, the dangers of falling trees are all too real, but you have to know that some of the responsibility actually falls back on you.
Griffith says “if you as a property owner know you have dead trees and you don’t do anything, I have seen claims denied, it can get gray and sketchy on what you know and didn’t know.”
It can happen here, it does happen here, and it did happen here. Early estimates from Hurricane Hugo put damage in just North Carolina at $275 million, and in South Carolina the early estimate was $2.5 billion. So be ready and experts say be insured.

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