Author: Patricia Feager, 1/6/2020
The Australian Fires is just one more reasonable reminder why we need to have a plan in place and documentation current and safely stored for 2020. This includes getting your affairs in order, insurance records for home, rental, health, auto, life, beneficiaries, executor, and all other directives in case of emergencies. If you run your own business, make sure you have legal documentation as to how you want your business to run in case you’re not there. Contact information should be reviewed for accuracies and current information.
When disaster strikes, it happens fast. With or without warnings doesn’t give you much time to prepare. If you’re not prepared, prepare for lessons learned.
When I was young…
In my early 20s, I rented and the property flooded. Everything I owned was ruined. I had no rental insurance and did not take inventory. Therefore, I paid a high price for my own negligence.
In my early 30s, I owned a home and had a house fire. After my husband died and before the house fire occurred, I thought I had adequate home insurance and was covered for replacement values. I had no documentation for values or proof of inventory. I received minimum insurance proceeds for an electrical fire caused by aluminum wires. Without documentation for what was lost, including loss of food, clothing, antique coverage for my piano, and separate coverage for guns and jewelry, I received no compensation, not even for time off work.
In my early 40s, major theft occurred inside my home. I thought I was covered but when the insurance company found out one of kids gave my house key to one of their friends, it wasn’t considered a break-in or trespassing. Therefore, the thief did not confess or offer compensation, and the insurance company did not pay at all.
Life can change in a few minutes or less. Take precautions. Know what your insurance policies say. Make sure your records are current. No matter how many times you learn the hard way, there’s still a lot more to learn. Never loan out your house to anyone. Make sure your kids do not give anyone a house key. When you move into a new dwelling, change the locks. Take inventory. Document. Have receipts and proof of what you own and where it is safely stored in another location. If you own your own business, make sure you have back-up coverage and someone to manage if you can’t. If you are an agent, make sure you know what your Broker’s Policies and Procedures are and that you follow them, letter to the law.
Cleanup, salvage, and restoration process, and disruptions in business will rock your boat. Challenges are many. Loss of life will blow someone’s mind. To my knowledge, no amount of money you receive from any insurance company will cover your catastrophe but every penny with count. Don’t bank on family, friends, colleagues, or REALTORS®, Salvation Army, Red Cross, or any charity to help you or your loved ones. Only you, can protect yourself, loved ones, and property.
To my knowledge, the only thing safely recorded is your blood.
Carter BoodCare saves lives.