Roadmap to Preparedness
The United Policyholders Roadmap to Preparedness (R2P) program offers tools, tips and suggestions to help you, your organization and/or your business be properly insured and able to recover if your property gets damaged, destroyed or stolen. Having accessible records and an adequate financial safety net after disasters makes a world of difference in the recovery process.
By taking advantage of what we offer through our R2P program, you can benefit from the insurance lessons people have learned after past disasters, as well as the expertise of United Policyholders' staff and national corps of volunteers. Our information and tools are drawn from our twenty years of post-disaster Roadmap to Recovery work, plus input from a national corps of consumer-oriented professionals. We do not accept funding from insurance companies. We do not sell insurance.
What we offer includes;
- Tips on buying important coverage but keeping your insurance affordable
- What disasters victims wish they’d known about insurance before they had a loss
- How to avoid common gaps in coverage
- What helps fire fighters save homes during wildfires
- How and why you should scan and securely store important documents, inventory property, take advantage of insurance discounts and home improvement incentives and be insurance literate.
Top Preparedness Tips:
Buying Tips Shortcuts:
UP Insurance Comparison Guides:
Home Inventory and Evacuation Tools
UP offers workshops and speakers for public and private events aimed at promoting and facilitating disaster preparedness. Our presentations, exercises and materials encourage audience participation and are in plain language and tailored to the local risks in a geographic area. To schedule an Insurance Assurance workshop in your community, email email@example.com. Current Workshops
|Top 10 Preparedness Tips from the Trenches:|
Tip #1: Insurance money -- not charitable or government aid makes the biggest difference in people’s ability to rebuild and recover after a disaster. FEMA money is needs-based and the maximum grant is $30k. SBA loans take time and have to be repaid. Charitable aid generally covers basic needs – not the cost of rebuilding a home.
Tip #2: Having the right kind and right amount of insurance on your property is so important. Ask your insurer if you’re covered for flooding, earthquakes, and a total loss from a wildfire. After a 2007 wildfire in San Diego County, 75% of the victims found themselves underinsured by an average of more than $100,000.
Tip #3: Don’t blindly trust that your insurance company has got you fully covered. The goal of an insurance sales rep is to sell you a policy at a price you’re willing to pay. In most cases, the true replacement value of your property gets underestimated at the point of sale and as years go buy. Read UP’s Do's and Don't When Insuring Your Home to avoid this problem. Confirm and keep records of insurance sales promises.
Tip #4: Complete as much of the UP Home Inventory as you can, then store the records off site in a safe place. Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but if you do, you’ll be so glad you created an inventory. Do it now!
Tip #5: If you don’t have insurance coverage for flooding and earthquakes, consider buying it. Earth movement, earthquakes and landslides are not covered by most homeowner policies. You have to buy this coverage separately. It’s worth finding out how much it would cost to add these items to your protection package.
Tip #6: Take advantage of insurance discounts for making your home safer. Shop around to find which company offers the best discounts for “mitigation” and/or “retrofitting” If you install a seismic shut-off valve on your gas line, a premium discount will cover most of the cost. Strapping your water heater and installing plywood shear panels won’t cost a fortune but will make your home safer and more insurable.
Tip #7: Avoid letting your insurance lapse. If money is tight, raise your deductible to keep premium cost down.
Tip # 8: Get help if your insurer drops you and you can’t find replacement coverage. Read UP’s publication “Dropped by Your Insurer.” Ask your local Fire Department if they’ll inspect and certify for an insurance company that you’ve cleared brush adequately.
Tip # 9: Clear brush around your home and keep it clear. The #1 thing that helps fire fighters is brush clearance. Clear out gutters and roof drains regularly. Install screens on all your roof vents to keep embers from flying in. Install spark arrestors in chimneys and get the chimney cleaned professionally. Follow the FireSafe Council's Homeowners Checklist.
Tip # 10: Have an evacuation plan that includes “grab and go” or off-site access to important documents. Keep a copy of your policy in a safe place away from your home and better yet, scan the complete document onto your computer or onto a UP Roadmap to Preparedness flash drive.