The Central Philippines just suffered a series of natural disasters in less than a month’s time. Damages were extensive. Thousands of lives were lost.
There are just a lot of things we don’t have control over when a natural disaster strikes. The heart-crumbling earthquake that destroyed houses and hopes in Bohol, Cebu, and other provinces. And yesterday, the country had just welcomed the strongest typhoon ever recorded this year, the typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines).
However, there are a handful of things we can do in order to prepare ourselves and ensure that we and our loved ones are in the best possible position to manage whatever happens after the disaster.
Many of us are fortunate enough to have avoided being victims of the earthquake and typhoon Yolanda. But are we really ready to face such disasters with plans in place to protect our properties and loved ones?
1) Do You Have The Right Types of Insurance?
Of course, most Filipinos may not have the capacity to avail the different kinds of insurance apart from the regular life insurance to protect themselves and their belongings. But in reality, some of these insurance products are very much affordable. Much cheaper than looking for money to rebuild after the disaster.
So aside from your life insurance, what are the non-life insurance products that you should get?
Homeowner Insurance Packages
There are now basic home insurance products that can give a homeowner at least Php1 million protection for their property. What most Filipinos don’t know is that these home insurance packages can cost them no more than P5,000 per year. Some are even costing just more than P1,000 on an annual basis.
But make sure that you only choose the coverage that you believe will give you benefits in case of future disasters so that it will not cost you more. For example, don’t get the coverage on protection against floods if your house is already located in a high location.
Ensure also that you fully understand the coverage of your policy. If you are new to the place, have some chit-chat with neighbors or with a sari-sari store vendor and get to know if there were cases of flood and other disasters that have hit the place in previous years. This will give you idea on what to include and exclude in your insurance policy.
Renter or Tenant Insurance
Did you know that renters or tenants can also get home insurance? In case your apartment gets flooded and your belongings are ruined, the renter’s insurance can provide a coverage to replace your possessions.
This type of home insurance package covers actual loss or damage caused by fire. It also covers tbelongings like appliances, personal gadgets (depending on the model and value), furniture and fixtures, tools & equipment, and other personal belongings except luxury items. Of course, the replacement cost will consider the depreciated value of your belongings and not their original values.
Extended Insurance Coverage (Disasters)
You may also realize that you are not satisfied with your coverage mentioned above when it comes to damage due to earthquakes, flood, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, landslides, falling airborne vehicles, smoke damage, temporary shelter, riots, strikes, burglary, housebreaking, etc.
In this case, you may consider adding protection coverage from the types of damage you believe could potentially hit your home. Of course, this will incur additional costs to your insurance policy.
Some policies include benefits such as personal liability insurance which covers the insured, the spouse and children in the event of accidental death or dismemberment arising within the period of coverage.
There are also packages that provide financial assistance to the insured and/or any member of his family for hospital confinement or surgical expenses incurred due to sickness or accident. Your household employees and kasambahays may also be insured.
Check out the Insurance Commission website for these types of non-life insurance products.
2) Do You Have An Emergency Fund?
I hope you have already gone through my article about the importance of saving for an emergency fund, like losing a job, unexpected medical bills, and yes, when you or your loved ones get affected by a natural disaster.
Having an emergency fund will protect you from being in debt again in case you need to transfer to a new home, or you need to replace your items, or even lost your job because of that disaster.
3) Keep Your Faith Intact
Last, but not the least (and in fact should always be the first), PRAY and PRAY.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27
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Bohol bridge/Typhoon Mindanao, European Commission DG ECHO
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