Get Smart

7/21/2020

High Winds Can Cause More Havoc Than You Think. Is Your House Ready?

As a 12-year-old living in south Louisiana, Ian Giammanco first witnessed the brutal force of high winds shredding structures and the surrounding landscape at 100-plus miles per hour. “It was Hurricane Andrew in 1992 that really sparked my career,” recalls Giammanco, lead research meteorologist for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). Since then, he has experienced 15 landfall hurricanes and countless severe thunderstorms as a researcher. “I’ve seen flying plywood get embedded in the side of buildings. Very unnerving.”
7/21/2020

Does My Auto Policy Cover Rental Vehicles?

Quick take: Does my auto policy cover rental vehicles? Most types of temporary rental vehicles are covered by personal auto policies. The coverage usually extends to U.S. territories, Puerto Rico and Canada. Recreational vehicles may require special coverage on your policy. Moving vans and similar vehicles are often excluded from coverage.
8/4/2020

Own a Home Built Before 1980? Your Electrical System Might Need Some Attention

Chris Powicki didn’t pay much mind to a loud pop he heard from his woodstove’s fire one cold November morning. But he snapped to attention five minutes later when the acrid aroma of roofing tar greeted him as he stepped outside. “I looked up and saw flames about six inches high right along the roof’s ridgeline,” he says. “I ran in and yelled to my wife, ‘Elizabeth, the house is on fire — get the cats!’”
8/6/2020

How Can Insurance Help Me Prepare For a Tornado Disaster?

Here’s how you can help prepare for a tornado: Annual policy reviews help you consider coverage options for your home in case of a tornado. Many insurers provide experienced guidance on developing an emergency action plan. You can request educational materials on helping you protect your home and family when disaster strikes. Some insurers have mobile claim centers to assist you following a catastrophe.
8/11/2020

Moving? Take a Few Packing Tips From These Serial Movers

When you've moved 17 times in 18 years like Doug Levy, an emergency communications consultant in Corte Madera, California, you learn a few things about the practical and unexpected side of moving. First, there are the technical details, like finding and scheduling a reliable mover and getting the right size and number of boxes. “Those are the obvious things," says Levy.
8/13/2020

What Happens if Someone Hits My Parked Car?

Here’s what you need to know if someone hits your parked car: The driver who hit your car is responsible for the cost of repairs. Optional collision coverage can help pay for damage if this person can’t be located. Without collision, you could have to pay for repairs out of pocket. If your insurer recovers funds from the driver, your deductible may be refunded in whole or part depending on your policy.