FARMINGTON HILLS — While people in Michigan don’t face the same hardships as hurricane victims in Florida or wildfire victims in California, the Great Lakes State is still known for its unpredictable weather, which can cause everything from flooding to house fires.
Rabih Hamawi, an attorney based in Southfield, has seen the worst of these damages up close and personal, having owned and operated an insurance agency for about 10 years.
He was also named to the 2018 Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars list; and his practice focuses on representing policy holders in fire, property damage and insurance-coverage disputes against insurance companies.
Hamawi joined The AANews Publisher Osama Siblani on his weekly radio show on 910 AM Superstation this past Saturday to discuss how to protect your home and family from these and other incidents.
Water damage has been a hot topic in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, considering the propensity for these areas to flood. Hamawi cautioned listeners that most home insurance policies in Michigan do not offer flood protection, as only flood zone areas are required to carry flood insurance.
“Under this situation, water damage will not be covered by a homeowners’ policy unless you have an endorsement,” Hamawi said, adding that people living in areas known for water damage should consider requesting a “water backup” option on their policies.
Water coming through a drain or sump pump is not classified as a flood in Michigan.
“Make sure you do not only buy the minimum,” he said, offering the tip as part of a 10-point list for preventing wind and water damage.
Hamawi’s other tips are include:
-Repair loose siding to prevent wind damage
-Keep your gutters clean to prevent backups
-Clean around your house to make sure water can flow
-Keep your sump pump working properly
-Ensure proper sealing of windows and doors
-Check for loose fence posts and secure them
-Survey the area surrounding your house for loose items and regularly trim trees
-Keep a generator on hand in case of need
Hamawi added that many insurance policies do not cover damage for windstorms and that homeowners should check their policies to see if there’s a deductible for wind damage that may be similar to one for fire damage.
Hamawi’s tips for preventing prevent fire damage
In addition to storm and wind damage, Hamawi also offered six often overlooked tips for preventing fire damage and injury:
-Check all smoke detectors to make sure they work and buy batteries that last at least 10 years
-Be aware that you typically have 60 seconds to get out of a house after it catches on fire
-Make sure all exits in the home are clear and unblocked
-Twice a year, do an evacuation fire drill with your family to see how long it takes to get out
-When you do exit a burning home, close the door behind you to cut off oxygen to the fire
-Call 911 and make sure your address is clearly visible for firefighters
The full video of the interview can be seen on the 910 AM Facebook page.
Hamawi’s office is located on the 19th floor at 2000 Town Center Suite 1900 in Southfield. The office phone number is 248-905-1133.