7 On Your Side: Home and renters insurance - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7 On Your Side: Home and renters insurance

It's the middle of hurricane season. When is the last time you took out your homeowners or renters insurance policy?

Homeowners and renters may want to review their policies to make sure their needs are met.

In just a few minutes, a disaster can ruin a home and possessions that may have taken years to acquire. Most people are reasonably confident their homeowners or renters insurance will be there if they need it, but it's a good idea to take out the policy at least every year to review it and make sure you know what it covers.

No matter what you do in the insurance area, you want to make sure you understand your policy very clearly -- that you know what your deductible is and what it covers.

It's also important to remember that since hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, most people have a hurricane deductible that is 5 percent of the value for which their home is in insured. For instance in a sample policy, the deductible would be about 1/2 percent or $1,300 in the event of a fire or other loss, while, in the event of a hurricane, the deductible would be 5 percent which is $13,000.

Carmen Million, with the Southwest Louisiana Better Business Bureau,  says it means to be ready for a hurricane, most homeowners should have emergency money set aside.

"They want to understand exactly what they have to come out of pocket to get their home repaired and determine if they have enough coverage, and if not, they need to make sure they have the funds to cover those repairs if they need to have them done," said Million.

She also says it's a good time to take plenty of pictures inside and out, to prove what you have.

"Video tape their property inside and out, their fences, their landscaping, their any kind of things they have in their yard. They also want to inventory their furniture and the property that they have inside their home," said Million.

Million says it's also important to have copies of insurance papers, financial information and forms of identification ready to grab if there's an evacuation.

"Make sure you have your insurance policy handy. Make sure you have all your financial information handy. Put it in a safe place, so that if you do have to evacuate,whether it's through a flood or a hurricane or whatever, that you can get to that information very quickly," said Million.

After you've gathered up the information Million says keep it in a safe, protected place -- not out in the open where it could be stolen. 

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