National Preparedness Month: GEICO offers 5 tips to help homeowners get 'disaster ready'

Washington, D.C., Sept. 28, 2015 – For many Americans, purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial investments they will make in their lifetime. GEICO emphasizes the importance of protecting that investment from natural disasters.

Because natural disasters can strike in an instant, with little or no warning, it is essential for homeowners to always be prepared. Disaster preparations don't have to be time consuming or expensive.

GEICO encourages all homeowners to protect that investment by being "disaster ready" with these five important tips:

  1. Know your area – Become familiar with the specific risks of your geographic area. Ask local officials what hazards are most likely in your community. Take this information into consideration when developing your preparedness plan.
  2. Evaluate your home's vulnerabilities – Hire a professional home inspector to assess your home for vulnerabilities.  Home inspections are fairly inexpensive and can help you identify repairs necessary for the safety of your home and your family.
  3. Review your coverage – Contact your homeowners insurer to determine the specifics of what is covered by your policy and what is not. Make sure you know about any exclusions. Your policy should be designed to meet your unique needs, maximize your coverage, and minimize any exposure to loss.
  4. Update your home inventory list – Maintain an up-to-date list of all the items in your home. Take photos of valuables such as electronics and jewelry. Store a hard-copy list in a fire-proof, water-resistant, safe box and secure a digital file as well. In the event that damage occurs due to a natural disaster, having a home inventory will help speed up the claims process.
  5. Create and practice an emergency plan – As a family, map out and practice an emergency escape route and designated family meeting spot. Having a plan in place can help ease the confusion that accompanies a natural disaster.

Visit GEICO's Catastrophe Center for more natural disaster safety tips.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 23 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

For more information, go to www.geico.com.