We live on the edge of a canyon, and the homes across the street are on narrow lots, perched on a steep hill about 50 feet above our home.  Last night, I awoke in panic as the foundation on one of the homes began to crumble in the heavy rain and started sliding down the hill towards our home.

Luckily it was a dream, but I couldn’t get it out of my head.  Would we get out in time?  Would I have time to grab anything before our home was crushed?  What would I take?  When I got up this morning and reassured myself that both homes were very much intact up on the hill, I wondered if our insurance would cover our home if my nightmare had been a reality.  And the truth is, I have no idea.

We all heard the horror stories after the last two wildfires swept San Diego County…stories of those with no insurance, but even more frequently, those who were under-insured.  Disasters such as wild fires or flooding can happen to any of us, but how prepared are we to recover our losses and rebuild our homes and our lives?

My way-too-real dream reminded me that a call to my homeowner’s insurance agent for a New Year’s check-up might be a good idea.  Here are a few things to review: 

  • What is the deductible?
  • Are we covered for flooding?  Any limitations on fire coverage?
  • Are we sufficiently covered for loss of use?
  • Would our additional coverage pay for removal of debris if the house across the street did slide down the hill into ours?
  • Do we have an endorsement for guaranteed replacement cost of our home?
  • Is our personal property adequately covered?
  • And finally, are we getting all of the discounts that might be available to us?

This morning I’m very thankful that we didn’t have to make a midnight run for our lives, but I think I’ll sleep better once I know we’re covered, just in case……