BOSTON (CBS) – As one prepares for the catastrophes of life we need to consider insurance as a financial tool.

This is a tool that will allow us to protect the ones we love and the stuff we own and it also allows us to sleep at night. A tool to help us keep our families financially safe. You need to know what risks you may face financially and learn to manage them by using insurance.

Homeowners Insurance: Be sure you are adequately insured for at least 80% of the value of your home. If you have valuables or collectibles you keep in your home you may want to consider adding a rider to the policy so these special items are insured.

My niece’s home was a total loss in a Colorado wild fire earlier this summer. But she had heeded my advice and had replacement coverage so they are able to rebuild their home.

Consider taking inventory of your home’s contents. Making a video is the easiest thing to do. Then put the recording in a safe, fireproof place.

Your homeowner’s policy will cover you if a tree blows down and caves the roof in. But if that 200-year-old tree falls in the driveway you will be responsible for cutting it up and getting it hauled away.

If we have an earthquake here in New England, you are not covered unless you have purchased special coverage. I live west of Boston and have experienced four earthquakes including the one that happened last year.

Flood insurance is also considered special insurance. If the pipes burst during a cold snap and flood the basement you are covered. But if a hurricane brings 12 inches of rain and that dry creek, the one that has been dry since you bought your home 30 years ago, floods your basement you probably are not covered.

Check with your insurance agent and know what is covered if a hurricane does hit or a tornado comes whirling through. And please don’t say it doesn’t happen here. New England has had over 400 documented tornadoes. Earlier this month there was a tornado on Block Island and this past year in Central Massachusetts 19 communities experienced a tornado that left 4 dead and debris as far east as Middlesex County.

Auto Insurance: You are not supposed to drive your car in Massachusetts unless you have insurance. But that doesn’t stop some individuals. Be sure you are covered for uninsured or underinsured drivers and that everyone wears their seat belts in your car especially if your teenage is driving.

If you work at home, and more people are doing just that, let your insurance agent know. Coverage for a home business and office equipment can be incorporated easily into your home owner’s policy. If you don’t tell the insurance company you may not be able to claim a loss if your home is damaged or vandalized and you lose your office equipment.



You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.


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