Current tragic events have hit close home, making me evaluate what I would do to stay safe. Having friends that have lost their homes also got me to thinking what could be done now to alleviate some of the post stress that is going to occur.
I spoke with my daughter who is also an insurance agent, and she had some great suggestions that we should all consider. Especially if you are a home owner.
- Photograph everything in your home. You do not need a photo of each individual item. Just photograph a room from every angel so that you can see everything in the room. Furniture, rugs, art, accessories, appliances, stereo equipment etc. Next, open your cabinets and closets and take a photo as they are. If you have items of high value, such as art, jewelry or equipment, take individual photos of these and try to include information such as serial numbers, model numbers or anything you know about the item (such as an antique). If you have signed and numbered art work, the insurance company will want to know the number of that piece. Store these photos online (in the cloud) or with a trusted friend so that they can be retrieved later. You will be glad that you did. You will likely be under much stress at this point and will forget a lot of the things that you had.
- Keep your insurance policy updated. You may not know that if you have a mortgage, your mortgage holder is the first named beneficiary on the policy. If your mortgage has been sold or you have refinanced, you want to be sure that they have the correct information. Although I’m sure that your current mortgage holder would have seen to that as a condition of your loan. Or if your home has been paid off, or if you have paid off a second or equity line be sure that the mortgage holder has been removed.
- Create copies of important documents that can be stored online (in the cloud) or off site with a trusted friend or relative. These would include copies of your insurance policy, the name and phone number of your insurance agent, a copy of your trust (if your home or autos are in a trust). The insurance company should have a copy of this before any claim, so that the trust can be listed as having additional interest. Pink slips to your vehicles. Passports. Certificates such as: Marriage, divorce, birth. Consider how you would access your passwords should you need them.
We tend to put things off, thinking “it will not happen to me”. I truly hope that it will not. But doing these things may give you more peace of mind.