Disaster Recovery: Knowing Your Insurance (VIDEO)

Hello, my name is John Lawless, staff attorney with Bay Area Legal Services’ Disaster Relief Project and the Florida Disaster Legal Aid Helpline. I’m here with my colleague Jason to discuss some simple steps anyone can take to avoid common issues while recovering from disaster.

Today, we’re here to discuss the importance of reviewing your insurance policies and verifying your coverage. Familiarizing yourself with both your rights and obligations will help avoid mistakes and delays in receiving insurance benefits after a disaster damages your property.

Some of the items you will want to familiarize yourself with are:

  • What kind of insurance do you have?
  • What are your deductibles?
  • What and when are you required to report?
  • Do you have any specific duty to mitigate damage?

Taking the time to verify these answers will be well worth your time when it comes to making a claim, or evaluating whether your coverage is adequate for your needs. Both having the right coverage and knowing how to receive insurance benefits will be crucial to a swift recovery if you suffer a loss after a disaster.

Jason, are you ready to show us how to verify your insurance coverage?

Looks like he’s ready to go. With a little help from the "J-Viewer" (patent pending) let’s watch while Jason verifies his insurance coverage.

There it is. Go ahead, Jason. Let’s open it and take a look.

No, Jason.

It’s not the most exciting work, but it really is important to take the time to familiarize yourself with your policy or policies. It can also be helpful to document the condition of your home before a disaster by taking pictures. That will make it easier to prove what damage was done.

Don’t make assumptions about what will and will not be covered in the event of a disaster. Many people fail to realize, for instance, that water damage may not be covered by their hazard insurance even if they are not in an area where flood insurance is required.

See how important it can be to take the time to read your policies, Jason?

Good for you. Now, if you and your family keep these tips in mind, you’ll be a lot more resilient in the aftermath of disaster, and a lot less like Jason. 

We appreciate you taking the time to listen. For more information on what to do in the wake of a disaster, please visit the following resources.

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