AUSTIN (KXAN) — After two historic storms within two years, some have asked how to better prepare for the next one.
Alyssa Onyx and her northwest Austin neighbors on Shady Oaks Drives were still in the dark Wednesday night.
“It’s cold, it’s dirty, it’s just miserable,” she said, adding that she’s struggled to get help from her insurance company. “On top of everything else, it’s just been very dire and straining.”
Insurance experts said this is a perfect time to reexamine your home and auto insurance.
“People really didn’t know what their policies covered or didn’t cover,” said Ben Gonzalez with the Texas Department of Insurance.
Insurance experts said for certain compensation – like reimbursement for hotel stays – damage to your home has to be significant.
“I’m not aware of any policy that does it just because your power is out,” said Gonzalez. “It’s generally associated with something happening to your home that makes it unlivable.”
While it’s too late to adjust your home insurance policy to get more returns from last week’s storm, the Insurance Council of Texas said there are things you can do to put yourself in a better position next time.
“Now that we’ve gone through this and we know this can happen… make a home inventory,” said Rich Johnson with the Council. He said the easiest way to do that is by taking 360-degree videos of every room in your house, so you can easily make a list of all of your belongings.
When it comes to your car insurance, while it’s not state law to have comprehensive coverage – Johnson said people who didn’t have that in their policy before the storm were out of luck if tree limbs fell on their vehicles.
“If you hit the tree, it’s collision [coverage]. If the tree hits you, its comprehensive,” said Johnson. “It’s really important to have both coverages