As we head into the winter months here in Harrisonburg and the surrounding Shenandoah Valley, it’s important to complete home maintenance chores that help to avoid property damage.  Things like cleaning out rain gutters, checking to make sure your sump pump is working well, repairing roof leaks, getting chimneys cleaned, and cutting away branches that might be susceptible to breaking off during snow or ice storms.  You might also want to invest in a generator for those times when the power goes out.

Even with these tasks completed, however, there is still the potential for damages caused by unfortunate circumstances—year round, in all types of weather.

For this reason, it is important to know you have the proper homeowner insurance coverage to protect your home and belongings.

Check to see whether your homeowner insurance policy includes the following coverages, and if not, consider adding them:

Water Back-up Coverage – This is an optional but very important coverage.  A lot of expensive damage can be caused by water backing up into your home.  Water back-up can come through sewers, drains, or even overflow of toilets or bathtubs.  Water back-up insurance provides coverage not only for the structure of your home, but for personal property damage as well.

Refrigerated Property Coverage – When people lose power due to snow and ice storms, or summer “derecho” storms (as we recently experienced in our area), spoilage of refrigerated and frozen items is typical and can be very costly.  Many homeowner insurance policies don’t automatically cover this loss, but it can often be added at a low cost, and with a low deductible.  Ask your agent for more information.

Flood Insurance – It is very important to be aware that homeowner insurance policies do not cover damages resulting from a flood.  Whether you have just a few inches of water in your home, or a few feet, the damage is not covered.  Therefore, if you live in an area with a possibility of flooding, a separate flood insurance policy is necessary to cover the both the structure of your home and your personal property.  Please check into flood insurance if you are not already covered.  And keep in mind that there is usually a 30 day waiting period from the purchase date to the effective date, so this isn’t something you can wait to purchase when you hear about a hurricane moving into the area.

Any questions?  Contact BRIS today to review your options.