We are into April and that means severe weather season is here. There are a few things you can do to help
reduce your risk of having storm damage.
- Turn off and/or unplug non-essential appliances during thunderstorms. We see a lot of lightning claims to televisions, computers, HVAC systems, refrigerators, telephones, etc. Surge protection devices help but they certainly don't eliminate all lightning claims.
- If you know it's going to storm pull your vehicles into the garage, carport, barn, etc. Many hail claims could be eliminated by this simple act. It very well might be worth spending your Saturday morning cleaning out that garage!!
- Inspect the exterior of your home and your roof. Loose shingles are much easier to fix while they are on your roof. A strong wind gust can cause dozens of them to blow off. Many times this can be easily prevented with simple maintanence.
- Clean your gutters. Leaves and debris from the fall and winter months can stop your gutters up and a huge rain storm can cause that water to go where you don't want it.
- Secure loose items in your yard (trash cans, lawn furniture, trampolines, etc) These items can be picked up by hgh winds and do damage to your property or your neighbor's property.
- Trim back any trees that are near your roof and remove any damaged or dead trees. These can damage your property and if a dead tree damages your neighbor's property you could be liable.
Spring is also a great time to review your home and auto insurance policies to see what deductible you might have to pay in the event of a storm related issue. Storm claims on auto would fall under your comprehsive coverage. Home insurance policies generally have a separate wind/hail deductible. Ask your agent if your homeowner's pays replacement cost for damage on your roof or if your coverage is paid at actual cash value. This can make a substantial difference in the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket if your roof gets damaged.
Storm season in Oklahoma is no joke. Make sure to do your part to reduce your risk and understand what your insurance will do to help.