Preparing Your Home for Severe Weather

February 16, 2005 -- Posted at 7:12 a.m. CST

Jonesboro, AR -- April showers bring more than May flowers to our part of the country. They can bring storm damage.

This week is weather awareness week at KAIT. Wednesday we posed the question, Is your home prepared for severe weather ?

If you have storm damage, hopefully you have enough insurance coverage to get things patched up. However, that claim could cause your premium to rise in the future. But some claims can be prevented with a little bit of preparedness.

If you have dead trees or dangling limbs near your home they can and do fall into roofs during high winds. If you have wood or vinyl siding may sure it's in good condition. You should also check your roof and make sure there are no lose shingles.

" Wind can get up under lose shingles or siding and causes big damage that may mot be covered by your policy. One reason premiums go up is because of things that could have been prevented," said Cathrine Dillion, who is a State Farm Insurance Agent.

If a storm comes through and you think you have structural damage but an adjuster determines that you don't, that assessment can go against you.

"That is a part of your insurance premium, so it could be a factor in your insurance premiums increasing."

That practice is pretty much standard with any insurance company. The best thing you can do is be proactive before the storms roll in.

"Talk with your agent at least once a year. Ask questions about what to do what to expect."

If you are building a new home or having your roof replaced, use products that are high-wind and impact resistant. The right materials will help you prevent unwanted damage. Also, make sure your contractor is installing your roof with high winds in mind. It's not a bad idea for our part of the country.