Understanding Your Homeowner Insurance Policy As homeowners, none of us can ever truly be prepared for tornadoes, floods or other natural disasters. But having adequate insurance can reduce potential losses. Surveys have found that nearly half of homeowners couldn’t identify or verify the value of all their possessions if they were lost in a disaster or know whether their insurance will cover all of their home repairs. A homeowner policy usually doesn’t cover: flood, earthquake, landslide, mudslide, sewer backup or identity theft. Your homeowner policy may not cover claims related to: dog bites, swimming pools, trampolines or operating a business from your home. Sites such as Insure.com and MSN Money.com are good places to help you better understand your policy (cash value or replacement costs?), know your coverage (are floods, earthquakes and water-line breaks covered?) and document your valuables (just what do you have, how much is it worth and how do you prove it?). It is also good to understand your policy as it relates to fire. As someone who recently had a family member lose their home to fire, please find out if your policy provides for temporary housing costs and learn how they place value and reimburse you for your belongings. If nothing else, you will have peace of mind knowing how the process works. Additionally, please don’t put off purchasing that fire proof safe for important papers and valuables; and consider using automatic web-based back up systems for your computer so that you do not lose all your data. Carbonite.com is one such service that is easy and invisible while providing a huge value at a low cost and I am sure there are others.