Home SCC: Protect yourself against potential insurance risks this summer

SCC: Protect yourself against potential insurance risks this summer

Crystal Graham
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The State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance reminds Virginians to discuss insurance coverage with an agent to cover common summer risks including illness, theft or mishap.

“Whether you’re grilling with friends, driving, or boating, don’t let a lack of insurance coverage put a damper on your summer fun,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. “Anticipate summer hazards now to minimize their potential financial damage by ensuring your insurance coverage is adequate and up-to-date.”

The bureau offers the following tips to help protect you:

  • Keep your home, vehicles, belongings and personal information safe, especially when away on vacation
  • Know how much your auto and homeowners insurance will cover if someone steals belongings from your vehicle, home or yard
  • If hosting an event at your home – such as a yard sale, neighborhood cookout or pool party – know what type of insurance you may need if a guest is injured or if there is property damage
  • Understand your insurance coverages if severe summer weather damages your home or vehicles
  • Understand any deductibles or coverage limits that may apply
  • If you are planning a summer trip, understand your health insurance coverage in case you require medical treatment in an urgent care facility or hospital while traveling out-of-state or abroad. Bring health insurance information with you on your trip including identification cards and contact details for family members.
  • If you’re driving for vacation or to visit friends and family, make sure your auto insurance policy meets your specific needs before you leave. Check your liability limits to ensure adequate protection against personal injury or property damage arising from an accident while traveling. Keep your insurance company’s contact information and a copy of your insurance card with you when you drive and know what to do if an accident occurs.

In the season of hurricanes and heavy rains, keep in mind that homeowners, renters and commercial insurance policies issued in Virginia typically do not cover damage to your home and belongings due to floods, surface water or storm surges.

The federal government sells insurance covering direct flood and flood-related damage to homeowners, renters and businesses in eligible communities through its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period for a new flood insurance policy to take effect. To learn more about this program, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP at 1-800-427-4661 or visit floodsmart.gov.

Some private insurers offer flood policies, so check with your insurance agent about the availability of a private flood insurance policy. In either case, ask whether your flood policy provides coverage for your personal property.

For information about these or other insurance-related topics, contact the Virginia Bureau of Insurance in Richmond at (804) 371-9741 or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit its website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance.

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.