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The RKI Review

Protecting Your Home From Weather

Damage from weather is a fear for many homeowners. Although the Willamette Valley is one of the safest weather regions in America, weather-related losses have significantly increased across our nation. Recent weather has raised community concerns, so here are some tips on protecting your home from an insurance agent. Three points I want to highlight: 1) BE SAFE, don't risk it; 2) Talk to your agent, every home is unique; 3) Keep records of everything, it'll make life easier.

Before Bad Weather: Know your policy- coverages, conditions, and responsibilities. For instance, do you have Basic, Broad, or Open form coverage? If you have Basic, you may not be covered against a likely risk (such as a tree falling on your home). The further away you are from help the more prepared you need to be; take this into account when developing an emergency plan that includes: emergency procedures, supplies, responsibilities (like who will shut off the gas), and emergency contacts. Make sure your property (meaning everything you own that is at risk) is clean & secure (coat your roof and get new windows!) and try to minimize risks (such as removing trees around the house or parking cars in a garage or open area).

During Bad Weather: Be Safe! If you have any doubts, don't risk it. If a major loss occurs, get to safety and call for help. If a minor loss occurs, take pictures or notes and make any reasonable temporary repairs to reduce the loss or prevent further losses.

After Bad Weather: Make sure everyone is safe. Take pictures, videos, or notes of the loss. Call your agent if the damage appears to be twice your deductible. If the loss is less than twice your deductible, RKI believes the claim is not worth increased rates for 3 to 5 years. Make any reasonable temporary repairs needed to reduce the loss or prevent further losses. Take pictures, videos, or notes of any repairs and be sure to keep your receipts. Your insurance may cover a hotel if the home is unlivable so keep receipts of alternate lodging expenses.

Flood Insurance: You probably don't need it. Flood insurance has to be specifically purchased (if you didn't ask for it you don't have it) and is expensive due to adverse risk (only people who have floods buy flood insurance). Unless you believe conditions are changing in our area, you only need flood insurance if your home has a history of flooding or your bank requires it.

Renter's Insurance: Although there are two huge reasons to get renter's insurance (personal liability & personal property), severe weather is not typically a concern. Your landlord's policy will cover the building unless you made a modification (if so, Get. Renter's. Insurance.)

Every home and every policy is unique in what is covered, what is excluded, and what each party's responsibilities are. Talk to your agent to make sure you have exactly the coverage you need. Your agent can also advise you further on Loss Prevention (things you can do to protect your home) and will vouch for your preparedness to the insurance company if a loss seems questionable. Remember: 1)Be Safe! Don't Risk It; 2) Talk to your agent!; and 3) Keep Records of Everything. Following this advice will help you feel safe and prepared when the winds are a howlin'. Happy Holidays, Wyatt King, RKI

Want $5?

Have a friend who needs insurance? Send them to RKI for a quote and receive $5! Its as simple as that, and although you can only get $5 per friend, there is no limit to how many friends you can send on over. There is no obligation for them to purchase a policy, they simply have to get quoted and you have money in your pocket! Remember, friends send friends to RKI! (Excludes Health Insurance)

New Online and Facebook Quotes

RKI now offers instant online Auto and Home quotes from a variety of our carriers! Get 5 fast and accurate quotes for your car or home anytime and anywhere using our new quote system found in the Reeves' Service Center or on our Facebook page. If you need help, give us a call or check out our Library for Auto and Home insurance terms.