Be prepared this spring storm season

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It might be true that April showers bring May flowers, but it’s also true that those April showers can cause a lot of damage. Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens reminds homeowners of some important insurance tips to protect their property, in the event of weather-related damage.

• Make a list of all valuables, furniture, electronics, etc., and photograph or video-record your possessions. Keep copies of the list, photographs and video in a safe place outside your home. By going to the Department of Insurance’s website (, and downloading the helpful smartphone app “Scr.APP.bk,” Georgians will have an easy-to-use catalog of their belongings. If your home is damaged in a natural disaster, it may be difficult to tell your insurance agent what you lost, without proof.

• Keep your insurance policy numbers and your agent’s phone number in a safe place.

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• If disaster strikes, contact your agent or insurance company immediately.

• While a standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers damage from high winds and tornadoes, it does not cover damage from flooding. A separate policy must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program, and can only be purchased if your community participates in the national program. However, a standard mobile home policy can cover damage caused by floods. Check your policy.

• Protect your property from further damage. For example, if your roof is damaged, cover it with a tarp to prevent water damage from subsequent rain. Most policies will not cover such subsequent damage.

• Make sure you understand the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost coverage for your contents, and obtain the coverage that best suits your needs. With actual cash value, you will receive the current value of an item when you file a claim. With replacement cost coverage, your claim amount will be enough to purchase new items.

Visit the Commissioner’s Web site,, for more information.