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The United States and coastal residents have dodged more than a few bullets over the last few years. Not since 2005 has a major hurricane made landfall, sparing a substantial number of home and business owners from having to file a property insurance claim.
But with the official start of hurricane season beginning in June and lasting until the end of November, that’s a long time for the possibility of major storms to develop, and researchers at Colorado State University predict that there will be seven named before the active weather period winds its way to a close. That’s fewer than the 12 per season average that’s been the norm for the last 35 years now, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Even if only one takes shape, though, it can wreak a staggering amount of damage that could make 2015 a year to remember for all the wrong reasons.
It’s for this reason that the Insurance Information Institute recommends that you review your homeowners insurance policy so that you’re covered properly. Here are some tips from our colleagues from Selective. 
1. Determine your policy’s limits
It’s not unusual for people to buy coverage, only to find out later on that their policy doesn’t provide for everything that’s damaged. For instance, some insure their home based on its purchase value rather than what it cost to rebuild the home from scratch. The cost to rebuild should determine your policy limit. By securing an extended replacement cost policy, these typically pay 20% over and above what your policy allows for.
2. Perform an inventory assessment
Built within every home and business owners insurance policy is protection for your valuables and belongings. But do you know how much all your valuables are worth? If not, it’s a good idea to conduct an inventory assessment to see how much protection is appropriate. III has a free downloadable app that can help you with this.
3. Review flood coverage protection
Oftentimes, people think that their homeowners insurance includes flood insurance, when in actuality, this is a separate policy entirely. Flooding is the No. 1 natural disaster in the U.S., according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. And if there is a hurricane, you can almost guarantee it will be accompanied by copious amounts of rain that could find its way inside. In fact, 90% of all natural disasters include some form of flooding, according to III data.
4. Examine coverage for additional living expenses
After Hurricane Sandy, which was a Category 1 storm, thousands of people in the Tri-State area had to abandon their homes because they were deemed uninhabitable. Besides the inconvenience it caused, it also required many people to pay out of pocket for the cost of renting out a hotel. Additional living expenses protection provides for these unexpected costs. Ensure that your home or renters insurance policy has it.
5. Assemble an emergency kit
If you don’t have an emergency kit, now’s the time to put one together. The best items to include are those that you’ll need to have when in an urgent situation, such as three days worth of food, water and clothing. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a great online resource that details all the things that ought to go in one, including the type of first-aid resources to have on hand.

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