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Our Opinion: Spring often heralds onset of severe storms

Spring has arrived.

State lawmakers are on spring break, professional baseball players are in spring training and the Department of Insurance is warning of spring storms.

As much as we would prefer to revel in blissful 70-degree temperatures, we all are acutely aware spring in Missouri is synonymous with severe storms.

Insurance Director John Huff advises Missourians to review their homeowners’ or renters’ policies.

Although standard policies cover losses from fire, theft, tornadoes, strong winds and hail, they typically do not insure damage from flooding, earthquakes or sewer and drain backups.

“Don’t assume you’re insured against all types of damage to your home or business,” Huff said. “Consumers should talk to their homeowners insurance agent to determine whether they need these extra protections.”

Abundant winter snowfall and flooding elsewhere in the nation have prompted predictions the Midwest, including Missouri, will be susceptible to flooding this spring.

Flood insurance these days primarily is offered through the federal government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. It offers more information on the web page www.fema.gov/business/nfip/.

The Department of Insurance also advises people to compile a list of personal possessions, including jewelry, electronics, clothing and furniture.

The list helps agents recommend insurance amounts and deductibles, and also aids in filing claims.

A Home Inventory Checklist may be downloaded from the department’s website: insurance.mo.gov/aboutInsurance/publications/HomeInventoryChecklist.pdf.

The checklist walks consumers through each room to document their possessions, when they were purchased and how much they cost, if the information is available.

As an alternative, the agency suggests a photo or video inventory of personal property.

Spring traditionally brings thoughts of tilling soil, planting flowers and mowing lawns, not cleaning up damage from tornadoes or flooding.

If cleaning up becomes necessary, however, being insured offers much peace of mind.

An English proverb applicable to spring in Missouri reminds: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

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