Here are some simple things you and your loved ones can do now to ease the insurance claims process should you suffer property damage or loss.
Review your insurance policies. When a disaster hits, a lot of people realize they aren’t familiar with the terms of their policies. You might think you have more coverage than you actually do. Reviewing your insurance policies now gives you the chance to make adjustments and have those adjustments take effect before a storm comes our way. Also, remember that flooding is not covered under your homeowners insurance policy; you need to buy a separate flood insurance policy.
Interested in Flood Insurance? Call us 877-239-0067, option 1 for a quick over the phone no obligation price quote.
Compile documents in a safe place. It’s a good idea to store insurance policies, property records, medical records and other important documents in a safe place away from your home, such as a safety deposit box. Then if your home sustains severe damage in a hurricane, fire or other disaster, these records will still be intact. Keep copies of these documents together in your home, so they’re easy to take with you if you are forced to evacuate.
Since most of the documents today are available in electronic format, consider using cloud storage (dropbox.com or google drive) to keep copies of the documents online for fast and easy retrieval. Don’t forget that online hosting can be compromised so audit your documents and make sure no sensitive information is accessible or shared.
Make a home inventory. A home inventory is a record of your belongings. And it can really come in handy when you have to file insurance claims for personal property that was damaged or destroyed. Go room to room in your home and make a list of your belongings. It’s also a good idea to take pictures or video of everything in your home and to hang onto receipts for large items to help prove their original condition and value. Store the list, pictures and video, and receipts away from your home in the same safe place you’re storing your insurance policies and other important documents.
One of the easiest and most convenient ways of creating home inventory is to use your smart phone paired with online service. For instance, consider a free account at www.knowyourstuff.org which can be paired with free application http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iii-inventory/id475840890. Information about your belongings, including adding rooms, items and photos, can be entered either through the iPhone app or through the Web-based software and your data will automatically synchronize between the two. All of your information will be kept in your personal, password protected account, on secure servers. And, like the online version, the Know Your Stuff® app is easy to use and free of charge.
We hope that Mother Nature is kind to United States this year, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the possibilities!