New Year’s resolutions for homeowners: Disaster policies

Many Americans live in disaster-prone regions that are vulnerable to tornadoes, hurricanes, mudslides, flash floods and even volcanic activity. However, many real estate insurance policies don't provide standard coverage for some of those incidents, leaving property owners holding the bill when disaster strikes. 

As policyholders set forth into a new fiscal year, it could be an excellent time to beef up policies to reflect potential damages in the event of a natural catastrophe. In some areas of the country, many homeowners are dangerously unprepared for the threat of disasters: For example, in California, The Los Angeles Times reports that only 17 percent of policyholders pay for earthquake insurance. 

While additional costs might tighten your budget, resolving to bolster your coverage could save you boatloads if a serious storm or weather event damages your home. Investing in the future means investing in all possible futures, including the grim possibility that your home could be destroyed. Upon meeting with your insurance agent, you might be surprised by the bundled or package coverage that's available to homeowners with existing plans, particularly in regions where certain types of hazard-specific policies are popular or advisable. 

If the addition of disaster coverage prices your current policy out of the realm of affordability, it might be time to compare rates with other providers. Shopping around for the right policy is one smart choice that could save you money in the new year. The marketplace is full of options for people if they make a thorough search. 

Homeowners can't predict the weather, or the next volcanic eruption in their backyard. But heading into 2015, they can prepare themselves for the worst with prudent coverage that protects them when disaster strikes.