Insurance an important part of storm protection

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Staying ahead of severe storms is key to protecting your family, including having the right insurance before storms hit.

Scot Ford knows how even the smallest storm can result in destruction.

"Lightning strikes in trees, hail damage, on roofs, cars, trucks," Ford said.

Last summer, a hailstorm hit, leaving dents in his home and vehicles in Whiteland.

"The damage we had doesn't even compare to the damage other people in this same neighborhood had," said Ford.

He filed a claim with Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance and within days had a check to make repairs.

"I'm a little bit more proactive. I've got the umbrella, I've got additional insurance in case I need it, because you never know. When you need it, you really need it," he said.

Agent Kent Shaffer says homeowners need to talk with their insurance company to determine what type and how much coverage will take care of their needs in the event of everything from minor damage to the kind of catastrophe storm victims in southern Indiana are dealing with.

"If we have a home insured for $100,000 and it's going to cost $150,000 to replace, that's really not going to do the client any good at the time of the loss, so we want to make sure their coverage is adequate," Shaffer said.

Shaffer says damage from tornadoes and other storms are typically covered under most policies, but flooding and earthquake damage requires separate policies.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, homeowners need to be proactive before the storm, making sure you have the right amount of insurance to cover the home and everything inside. You need to keep an inventory of all your valuables and review your policy every year to make sure any changes to the property are covered.

Most importantly, make sure you are insured and your coverage doesn't lapse.

"You can't afford not to have it, even if you don't use it," Ford said.

Surviving the Storm