Tue, August 05, 2008
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Atlantic storms raise insurance worries

2008-08-05 04:17:27 GMT2008-08-05 12:17:27 (Beijing Time) Reuters

Just two weeks after Hurricane Dolly pounded the Gulf Coast state of Texas......Edouard is carving a similar path.

The heavy winds and rains associated with a storm can cause massive flooding.....And flooding can be one of the greatest economic risks to a homeowner, since flood protection is not included in most home insurance policies.

Edouard serves as a reminder to keep insurance coverage up to date.

Bill Mellander is with Allstate's national catastrophe team.

SOUNDBITE: Bill Mellander, disaster expert, Allstate (English) saying:

"Sit down, take advantage of the fact now that it is the start of hurricane season and just have a conversation with your insurer; a once a year gut check is always a good thing to do. Talk about the coverage you've got and any additions you've made to your life or home in the last twelve months."

Near record gasoline prices and rising food costs may make it hard to find new cash for increased premiums...so consider these low cost options to prepare for a natural disaster:

1. Bundle: combining all insurance needs with one provider can lead to lower premiums

2. Document home inventory: using a digital camera to document your personal possessions will make it easier to file a claim

3 Review rescue and evacuation plans

4. Trim dead brush and dead leaves

SOUNDBITE: Bill Mellander, disaster expert, Allstate (English) saying:

"Anything that is dead is the first thing that's going to fall on your house. If your get rid of it now it's going to make your home more defensible against catastrophe."

Losses from a hurricane can add-up pretty quickly. It's too early to tell with Edouard, but some estimates put Dolly's loss at less than $750 million, compared with the $43 billion in 2007 dollar terms caused by Hurricane Katrina.

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