Don’t Let Severe Weather Uproot Your Financial Well-Being

Topeka, KS– Severe weather season has begun; a time when we see more tornadoes tossing, hailstorms denting, and rainwater flooding. The damaging effects of Mother Nature in overdrive serve as a not-so-subtle reminder of the importance insurance plays in safeguarding the financial well-being of Kansans. “Homeowner’s insurance will not prevent a property from destructive acts of nature, but it will help preserve the financial value of the property,” said Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt.

As Kansas enters severe weather season, the Kansas Insurance Department encourages Kansans to evaluate their property insurance needs by reviewing any changes in their life over the past year and looking for potential insurance gaps. The following are some of the costliest insurance gaps Kansans can face:

1. Flood – Most homeowners believe their standard homeowner policy covers flooding if they are not in a flood plain, but that assumption is incorrect. Consider your own risk tolerance and a property’s proximity to flooding areas. There is a 30-day waiting period for your flood coverage to be effective from the date of purchase, so do not wait until the storm. Visit floodsmart.gov to learn more about flood zones and how to purchase flood insurance.

2. Roof – A policy that covers a damaged roof with “actual cash value (ACV)” will only pay for the amount it would take to repair or replace damage to your roof after accounting for depreciation. A policy that covers a damaged roof with “replacement cost” will reimburse the full amount, less the policy deductible, to repair or replace a damaged roof with materials of similar kind and quality at today’s price. There is a cost difference for both the premium and the damage repair between ACV and replacement cost. Make sure you understand what you have and the pros and cons of that coverage.

3. Sump pump failure – Standard homeowners’ insurance does not cover damage caused by a  sump pump not working properly. Homeowners need to select an endorsement/rider that covers sewer backup and  mechanical failure of a sump pump to help cover the costs of repairs.

As Spring storms roll in, the Department would like to remind Kansans with insurance questions to visit insurance.kansas.gov for helpful shopper guides. Be sure to contact your agent to conduct a review of your current policy and ensure you do not have coverage gaps based on your needs.