– Daniel Jacuzzi – President, Select Group
The recent fires have taught us that many homeowners and businesses are significantly under-insured. The cost of new construction and complying with all the building code upgrades over the years have really increased the expense of rebuilding.
We are recommending that all our clients review their insurance policy with their insurance agent to be sure you are adequately insured. Look for the total amount of insurance and extra clauses for code upgrades and even guaranteed full replacement.
Some of these will be automatically included and some must be added at an extra cost. Each insurance company has their own policy with unique rules and limitations. For that reason, we cannot provide blanket advice and must direct you back to your insurance agent.
This is also a good time to review extra coverage for items like expensive jewelry, art, antiques, etc. that may have specific policy limits. You need to be sure you have enough insurance to rebuild your home and replace your possessions.
Finally, it is a good idea to have pictures of your home and each room along with individual pictures of expensive items. In addition, a list of your personal property and possessions is very important. Most people have far more items in their home that they will ever remember. Just think how many clothes or shoes some people have!
Once you have your pictures and personal property list, along with a copy of your insurance policy, it is a good idea to store them somewhere else other than your home. A child, relative, or friend living in an entirely different town is best.
My sincere hope is that you will never need any of this advice, but if you ever do, you will be glad you prepared in advance.
If you did lose your home or business in the Paradise fires, we are here to help you in any way we can. My final advice to you is to really work hard on your overall claim. Do not be too quick to settle with your insurance company. In most cases, the number you are offered can be negotiated and you may even need expert help to ensure you get the full value of your policy.