There is little debate that climate change is having an impact on us now and will be impacting us for the foreseeable future. While it is important to do our part to mitigate future climate change, it is also just as important to learn to adapt to the effects of climate change in the here and now. I will be devoting the next few months of the Environmental Moments to what I call Resiliency. These tips are not just for events related to climate change such as wildfires and droughts, but also apply to other natural disasters like earthquakes and even unexpected events such as a home fire.  

Resiliency Tip #2: Did you know that over 50% of the people who have lost their homes to a wildfire found that they were at least 25% underinsured (and that doesn’t include those who had no insurance at all)? When was the last time you looked at your homeowner’s insurance policy? This is not a particularly exciting topic, but acting now will ensure that you get the most from your insurance policy when/if you ever need it. Here are some tips when reviewing your policy:

1.   Have you upgraded/renovated your home recently? Does your insurance cover at least 80% of your home value? Take a look at the photo attached for a cautionary note about the consequences of being under insured.

2.   Check the fine print, for some policies in fire prone areas (e.g. Sonoma Valley) insurers have specifically excluded wildfires in their coverage!

3.   Ways you can decrease your insurance premium:

  • Have you upgraded to safer construction? For example modernization of your utility systems; window and door upgrades; creating a defensible space around your home.
  • Can you afford a higher deductible? If so, your premium will likely decline.
  • Did you know that your Credit Score affects your premium? 
  • Consider bundling your insurances together with one company, there’s usually a premium bonus for all.

***RENTERS*** Do you have a Renters Policy? If so, also check it regularly. If you are interested in a comprehensive guide to resiliency, I recommend “How to Prepare for Climate Change” by David Pogue. P.S. Don’t forget to put your Thanksgiving turkey bones in the green compost bin! If you have any tips for how to be resilient in the face of climate change or any other unforeseen event, please contact Eileen Haflich via the church office at [email protected]

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