Homeowners unhappy about post-disaster surprises

Individuals should meet with their home insurer to review their policies.

Learning the details of their home insurance policy may help protect consumers from frustration down the road.

According to a report by News Channel 5, many homeowners faced trouble while filing a claim when they found out that their policy did not cover damages from flooding, earthquakes, landslides or sewage backup. The news station referred to data from JD Power showing that homeowners are less satisfied with their policies now than they were in 2004.

Meeting with their insurer to go over their policy each year can help homeowners prevent post-disaster surprises, according to the report.

"Talk to your agent and review your coverage during each policy renewal," James Gasper, a CEO of one insurance company, told Channel 5. "That way, you know exactly what your policy covers should you need to file a claim."

Homeowners often need to purchase separate policies to protect against these disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers coverage for flood damage through its National Flood Insurance Program. These policies can cost as little as $119 a year.

California residents can purchase earthquake coverage through the California Earthquake Authority, often with high deductibles. Other earthquake-prone states offer earthquake insurance through privately funded companies.ADNFCR-2378-ID-19654658-ADNFCR

Posted: March 5, 2010

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