While holiday mishaps might be humorous in movies like National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation" or "Home Alone," they're not so funny when they happen to you. Winter brings a new set of risks that could have an impact on your insurance coverage. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reminds you to take a moment to review your insurance policies before you celebrate the season.
Be sure you know what to do if you get in a wreck. Always keep a copy of your insurance card and your insurance provider's contact information in the car. To take the stress out of filing a claim after an accident, the NAIC created WRECKCHECK, a free smartphone app that walks you through the process of gathering information following an accident. You can then email the report directly to your insurance agent. WRECKCHECK is available on iOS and Android devices. There is also a PDF version available for download.
A standard homeowners policy will also provide coverage, subject to your deductible, if your home suffers damage during a winter storm or a house fire, subject to your deductible. Some policies offer additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your home during repairs. Check with your insurance provider to determine what your policy covers.
The holidays are a great time to create or update your home inventory. This will help you make sure your homeowners or renter's policy provides enough coverage for your belongings, as you may need a separate rider for high-cost items like jewelry, art or electronics. The NAIC's free smartphone app, myHOME Scr.APP.book, makes the process of creating a home inventory quick and easy. You can download the app on iTunes and Google Play, or you can download a PDF version. Include as much information about your items as you can, such as receipts, photos and serial numbers.
If you are traveling over the holidays, review your policy and make a list of pharmacies, urgent care centers and hospitals that accept your insurance in your destination city. Prior to leaving town, it is also a good idea to check with your insurance company about in-network healthcare providers at your destination. If you receive care from an out-of-network provider, you could pay more for treatment. Bring this information and health insurance cards for all family members with you when you travel.
A warm weather escape is how some survive the chill of winter. Regardless of where you're going, winter travel can be uncertain. Delays or cancellations are inevitable. You may want to consider travel insurance, which can cover everything from lost luggage to delays and cancellations. You can find more information about travel insurance here.
For tips on picking the best insurance coverage that fits you and your needs, visit InsureUOnline.org.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the U.S. For consumer information, visit insureUonline.org.