Friday, June 20, 2014

Natural Beauty with few Natural Disasters

We got it pretty good here in Southwest Washington State. A recent CNN-Money report on natural disaster risk took data from 3000 US counties (Hawaii was conspicuous by its absence). It seems the places least likely to have a wildfire, hurricane, tornado or earthquake are the most likely to freeze you to death in the winter. North Dakota and Montana had large areas of minimal risk to home destroying disasters.

Here in fantastic Clark County we are nicely nestled in the low risk category. And it almost never gets below zero here either. Home owners should not downgrade their insurance just because we have good marks on the disaster front. A traditional fire in the home or other man made forces can still wipe out your home. Insurance companies rate ares based on the likelihood of a claim. Areas on the map below with high risk of natural disasters are rated up.

It is nice to know that we sit in an area that is relatively safe from these catastrophes, but keeping our homes well covered is always a sharp idea. I have run into people with free and clear homes that do not carry home owner's insurance. That amazes me. In order to reasonably consider self insuring you really need to be a millionaire. A standard home fire will do $40,000-$50,000 damage if not destroy the entire home and everything in it. Spending $400-$600 a year to provide coverage against that loss is wise, even if you are a multi-millionaire. An average home valued at $200,000 with $150,000 in contents would be a $350,000 loss in a major fire. Few people have the resources to recover from that financially. It is bad enough losing the irreplaceable momentos of ones life, let alone getting stuck with the bill.

Be sure to evaluate you homeowners policy every year or two to be certain your coverage is adequate.  

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