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  • Writer's pictureLaw Office of Brehm Bell

Storms Will Come. Here’s How to Prepare for the Worst (as We Hope for the Best)

This week, portions of our state experienced horrific damage from tornadoes that ripped through communities. If you can help in any way, I urge you to do so – and do so quickly. Donate, join a work team, gather recovery supplies. Many of us here on the MS Gulf Coast know exactly how hard post-storm recovery can be. Every little bit that is donated – whether service, funds or supplies – goes a long way to support our neighbors. In our state, we can count on good people helping out in times of need and this is certainly one of those times.

Prepare by making sure you have current and sufficient insurance coverage and an updated home inventory.
Prepare by making sure you have current and sufficient insurance coverage and an updated home inventory.

The recovery process in these types of disasters also relies on insurance companies being responsive and fair to their policy holders. To help that process – and to help you avoid being treated unfairly by your insurance carrier should you face a devastating disaster – I urge you to take care of these two things immediately: Make sure that you are not under-insured and make sure you have an updated home inventory list – the more detailed, the better. These two things are critically important if you are impacted by a tornado or hurricane and once the storm hits, it’s too late for either.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Call your insurance agent to be sure that your policies are current and sufficient for you and your family to recover should the worst occur. This goes for your flood, wind and homeowner policies, so check all of them. Make sure that your coverage includes your main dwelling, personal property and any accessory dwellings, like garages or sheds. If you rent, be sure that you are covered for all your possessions, loss of income and other related issues. When you evacuate, be sure to bring proof of coverage with you, which alleviates some of the headache post-storm.

Make a Home Inventory List

Make sure the updated inventory list includes video / photos of your property and contents of your home. This is vital to help rebuild your life if you are impacted by a storm. An easy way to do this is to simply video your entire dwelling, room by room. Open all the cabinets, drawers, closets, etc. and record the contents there. Be sure to walk the exterior of your property as well, including lawn equipment, vehicles, bikes, swing sets, grills – even landscaping. You will need this evidence to move forward with your insurance claim and receive payment to start rebuilding.

I’ve successfully fought many cases where insurance was wrongfully denied or not paid in full – including for my own home. If this happens to you, please give me a call and we can help navigate the complicated process of pursuing fair compensation. Hopefully, we can avoid any big hurricanes or tornadoes this year, but sadly, our friends in the Delta are facing something they never saw coming.

“Hope for the best, plan for the worst” is solid advice when it comes to insurance, so please take care of this as soon as possible. And again, please help however you can to support the recovery efforts to our Mississippi neighbors in Rolling Fork, Silver City and surrounding areas.


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