BOSTON (CBS) – Insurance is a financial tool that allows us to protect the ones we love and the stuff we own from the catastrophes of life. 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. For example, antiques, oriental rugs, a coin or stamp collection.

Take inventory of your home’s contents. Making a video is the easiest thing to do. Then put the recording or your inventory list in a safe fireproof place. Using the cloud for storage works well.

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 that causes damage, you are not covered unless you have purchased special earth quake coverage. The last earthquake we had was 3 months ago off the coast of Maine, a 1.7 magnitude.

Check with your insurance agent and know what is covered if a hurricane does hit or a tornado comes whirling through.

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 may not be covered.

Auto Insurance: you are not supposed to drive your car in Massachusetts unless you have insurance. But that doesn’t stop some people. Be sure you are covered for uninsured or underinsured drivers.

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.


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