Home Advance planning is key for potential extreme weather this spring

Advance planning is key for potential extreme weather this spring

Crystal Graham
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With the arrival of spring, severe weather takes on different forms – strong winds, tornadoes, hailstorms, lightning and flash floods.

Because severe weather can happen anytime, the State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance encourages Virginians to take care of your loved ones and property with advance planning.

“Assess your risk and make sure you have the insurance coverage you need if severe weather causes damage to your home, business, vehicles or other property,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White.

The Bureau encourages Virginians to consider the following:

  • Review your insurance policy and contact your insurance agent or company if you have any questions about your coverage.
  • Create a detailed inventory of your belongings including photos and receipts of your property if you have them. Store your home inventory checklist and insurance policy information in a secure, waterproof location.
  • Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover losses due to flooding. If you believe that you may need flood coverage, talk to your insurance agent about how to obtain flood insurance.
  • Automobile other-than-collision insurance coverage, often called “comprehensive” insurance coverage, helps pay to repair or replace vehicles if they are stolen or damaged by such things as fire, water, wind, hail, vandalism, glass breakage, falling objects or contact with an animal.

If your home, business, vehicles or other property are damaged due to severe weather, the Bureau recommends that Virginians keep several steps in mind:

  • Contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible after the danger or risk has passed.
  • Take photos of your damaged property once it is safe to do so.
  • Save the receipts for the costs of any emergency repairs that are needed to prevent further damage to your property.

If you feel you are treated unfairly, contact the Bureau of Insurance Property & Casualty Consumer Services team at 804-371-9185 or file a complaint.

For additional emergency preparedness information related to various types of disasters and hazards, visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website at vaemergency.gov.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.