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Ahhh, insurance. You pay a smaller amount of money every month, so when there's a big, expensive emergency, the insurance company will pay to fix it.

Trees have collapsed on your house?


Record low temperatures have caused a minor explosion with your pool equipment?


Blackouts have you throwing away a Costco-trip's-worth of food?


Now is a good time to:

  1. Call your insurance company and explain what happened.


They will tell you what steps you should take to make sure they will pay for the damage.

  1. Take pictures of the damage.


No pictures means no proof, so if you want a chance for insurance to pay, it is good to get photos before anything is cleaned up and fixed.

  1. Get your house or car checked out by a professional if there is even a chance of damage you can't see right away.


Your house seems fine! Sure, a branch fell on your roof, but then it just slid off. Five months from now, you may find a leak right where that tree fell. It will be harder to get the insurance company to cover it at that point.

  1. Save receipts from emergency spending.


If you had to rent a place with electricity, so you could keep warm during a power outage, your insurance might pay for that hotel room. Ask them! The worst they can say is no, and you are back where you started.

Lastly, when all is said and done, how did your insurance company treat you? Did you have to wait on hold, then get transferred to a different department 5 times before being disconnected? A post-it note of things you liked or didn't like can help, the next time you're shopping for insurance.

This leads us to next week's topic:

In All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan, Warren and Warren Tyagi report, "The big secret of insurance is that most people are paying too much---way too much."

expensive insurance

Tune in for March 5th Cashtoons to find out.