As areas are still recovering from the devastating 2017 hurricane season, now is the time to take steps to protect your home and assets. While the 2018 season is not projected to be near 2017, it only takes one storm to wreak havoc in your life and preparation can ease any pain.
So let’s look at six prep steps.
- Check your property. Now is the time to walk around your home and property and check for any potential hazards. Are there trees with large overhanging limbs that may come down in a storm? Is your fencing coming loose leading to it becoming a potential missile in a hurricane? How does your roof look? Are there loose, damaged or missing shingles? Is there debris in your yard that could blow around and cause damage to your home/property or your neighbors’? Now is the time to take steps to ensure that any issues are fixed.
- Check the four areas where water is most likely to enter your home and cause damage: roof, windows, doors, and your garage.
- Protect your irreplaceable valuables. You have your homeowners/renters insurance that will help replace your belongings should you suffer any damage/loss. But there are things that are irreplaceable that you should take extra care to protect. Your photo albums, family documents, mementos, etc. should be stored in waterproof containers and ideally taken with you should you ever have to evacuate.
- Review your home/renters/flood/auto policies. Life changes fast sometimes and you may not have communicated significant changes to your agent and could leave yourself without enough coverage. It’s not uncommon for clients to have finished their basements but forgot to tell their agent only to suffer damage and find out they were not covered. A quick call to your agent for a policy review is quick and free!
- Create a home inventory. A home inventory is an invaluable tool should you need to file a claim. Document with photos/video your valuables and the contents of your home. Make a note of the approximate date and cost of purchase. If you have receipts, scan them to a cloud service along with the inventory list and photos/video. Should you suffer a loss, your list, receipts and photos/videos will speed up the claims process. Documentation is a critical component for claims.
- Safely store your important documents. Most of us do not need daily access to our birth certificates, mortgage documents, deeds, wills, etc but should they be lost or damaged are very tough to replace. Keep copies of important documents on hand, but consider storing the originals in a fire/waterproof safe in a secure location in your home or in a safety deposit box at your local bank.
Now that the weather has finally turned toward spring, this is the perfect time to check your property, create a home inventory and properly store your valuables and important documents.