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Plan ahead to protect yourself before severe storms arrive

4/6/2018 5:01:20 PM

Minnesota Commerce Department offers insurance tips for Severe Weather Awareness Week

SAINT PAUL – Severe spring and summer weather is on its way, and it is important for Minnesotans to plan ahead to protect themselves and their homes.  

During 2018 Severe Weather Awareness Week (April 9-13), the Minnesota Commerce Department is encouraging Minnesotans to take a few simple steps to better manage the financial impact of a tornado, flood or other severe weather.

“When severe weather strikes, having the right insurance coverage can mean the difference between financial recovery and financial tragedy,” said Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman, whose agency regulates insurance companies in the state. “Now is the time to review your insurance needs and coverage to make sure you’re protected.”

/commerce/consumers/your-home/protect/dic/index.jspThe Commerce Department website features a Disaster Information Center with guidance about how you can plan ahead and what to do if you suffer storm damage.

The Commerce Department also offers the following tips:

Make a home inventory

Maintaining a complete, accurate and up-to-date inventory of the contents of your home will help you determine what insurance coverage you need and make it easier to file a claim if you suffer storm damage.

The Commerce website has an easy-to-use home inventory checklist that can be printed out. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) also offers a free smartphone app to help you compile a detailed image library of your personal possessions and store it electronically for safekeeping.

Another option is to make a video tour of your home. Be sure you save a copy in a secure place where it can be easily retrieved if your home is damaged.

Review and update your homeowners insurance coverage

Policy limits on homes and belongings can become outdated, especially if you have remodeled or added new items to your home. A policy that is more than five years old may not cover the entire cost associated with rebuilding your home or replacing lost or damaged possessions. Review your policy each year to make sure you have the protection you need.

If you rent, consider renters insurance. Your landlord’s insurance policy typically covers only the building structure, but not your possessions as a tenant.

Decide on flood insurance

A standard homeowners or renters insurance policy will not cover flood damage. For coverage against flood risk, you need to purchase a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. Policies have a 30-day waiting period before they take effect.  For more information, visit or call 888-379-9531.

Check your auto coverage

Hail, falling trees or flooding can result in costly damage, even a total loss, for your vehicle. If you want to be protected, make sure you have “Comprehensive” or “Other than Collision” in your auto policy.

Commerce is here to help. 
If you have a question or concern about insurance, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

Media Contact
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
p: 651-539-1463 | c: 651-368-5050 |


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