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Roadmap to Preparedness

The United Policyholders Roadmap to Preparedness (R2P) program offers tools, tips and suggestions to help people and businesses make savvy insurance decisions and be properly insured and able to recover after an adverse event. Having the right amount and type of insurance and well-organized records makes a world of difference after a disaster, disabling injury or illness or accident. 

By taking advantage of our R2P educational offerings, you can benefit from lessons people have learned while using their insurance after a loss.  You will also tap into the expertise of United Policyholders' staff and unique corps of volunteer experts including property/casualty, life, disability, health and auto agents, brokers, lawyers and construction professionals.

Our information and tools are drawn from twenty plus years of post-disaster Roadmap to Recovery work and monitoring insurance litigation and legislative matters.  We do not accept funding from insurance companies.  We do not sell insurance.

Highlights include:

- Tips on buying important coverage but keeping your insurance affordable

- Avoiding unsuitable life insurance and annuity products

- What disasters victims wish they’d known about insurance before they had a loss

- Disability policy wording to avoid

- What helps fire fighters save homes during wildfires

- Why you should scan and securely store important documents and inventory property

- How to take advantage of discounts and be insurance literate

Top property related preparedness tips:   

What's UP with Renter's Insurance

Buying Tips Shortcuts:

 

Preparedess Tools:

Home Inventory and Evacuation Tools:

 

UP Insurance Comparison Guides: 

Resources:

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 info@uphelp.org.  Current Workshops

  

Top 10 Disaster 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 $32k.  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 "close the deal" and sell you a policy at a price you’re willing to pay.  They often gloss over exclusions  and limitations.  If you rush through the process and look for the cheapest policy you can find, you'll almost certainly come up short on protection in your time of need.  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.