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News Apr 6, 2017 - 12:56:12 AM

Insurance Commissioner: Know Your Risk: Changing Weather Patterns Means Homeowners Should Revisit Coverage Needs

By Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade's office

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Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade is reminding homeowners to revisit their policies to ensure they have adequate coverage before disaster strikes.

“Connecticut is a small state with big risks. In just a few short years, the state has experienced Tropical Storm Irene, Superstorm Sandy, an October nor’easter and record winters, natural disasters that caused widespread damage,” Commissioner Wade said. “There are risks inherent in any season and that’s why it is essential that consumers understand the impact on their home insurance needs.”

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, fewer than 22 percent of homeowners view changing weather patterns or natural disasters as an important factor when updating their homeowners insurance policy.

More than 800 emergency or disaster declarations were made in the United States from 2005-2015, resulting in an average of $24 billion in annual insured losses due to natural catastrophes. However, the NAIC survey revealed 56 percent of homeowners have not reviewed their insurance policies in more than a year and 14 percent are unsure when — if ever — they last reviewed their policies. Research also indicates nearly half of homeowners (44 percent) have a home inventory. But of those who have an inventory, more than 40 percent have not updated it in more than a year.

Generational Differences
The survey of over 700 homeowners also shed light on generational differences to home insurance. Nineteen percent of millennials surveyed were significantly more likely than Gen Xers (10 percent) and baby boomers (8 percent) to consider changing weather patterns when reviewing their homeowners insurance. Compared to Gen Xers and baby boomers, millennials are more likely to have reviewed or updated their insurance policy within the last five years. Millennials also are more likely to have a home inventory and to have reviewed or revised it within the last five years.

Before the Storm
Consumers should re-evaluate their risk profile at least once a year to ensure their homeowners policy provides the protection they need. Questions to consider include:
· Am I at risk for hurricanes? Does my policy carry a hurricane or wind deductible and if so, what will my out-of-pocket costs be if there is damage?
· Do I need flood insurance?
· What has changed in my home? Did the number of people (and belongings) increase or decrease? Have I made any major purchases or remodeling?
· Should I be looking at different coverage? Can I save money by bundling my home and
auto insurance?

New Disaster Prep Guides from Insure U can help consumers determine the best course of action before, during and after a disaster strikes. The free guides include information and tips for tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and wildfires.

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