10 Ways To Prepare For Nature's Worst

AAA

10 Ways To Prepare For Nature's Worst

Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hail, hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning strikes are just a few of the nasty surprises that nature can whip up. Unfortunately, bad weather can affect anyone; therefore, it is important to prepare for both large-scale and small-scale natural disasters so that when the damage is done, you have the means to pick up the pieces and rebuild your portfolio - and your life.

Be Sure Of Your Insurance

The biggest wake-up call for homeowners is the fact that homeowner's insurance covers a very limited set of circumstances. They often do not include all the natural disasters that could occur in your area. Read into the fine print of your insurance contract to ensure you are not underinsured when it comes to a disaster.

Full Replacement Coverage

At the very least, you should have full replacement or replacement cost coverage policies. These policies will cover the cost of replacing your home or other insured buildings. Pay attention to the limits of the policy because they will define what kind of further coverage you may need. If you live in an area that regularly suffers disasters such as earthquakes and/or floods, you might want to pay the additional premiums for them.

Keep Your Coverage Up-To-Date

Once you have your home coverage with all the relevant policies, you will need to have your home reassessed every few years to make sure that your policy reflects the true value of your home. Renovations such as building an addition or finishing your basement will also require a policy update.

Cover The Knick Knacks

For the best insurance records, consider keeping a detailed list of the contents of your home and update it yearly. The list should include serial numbers, photos and descriptions of everything - even the fixtures. This will expedite the processing of any claim you may file and serve as documentation for your tax losses and deductions. For expensive items such as antiques, jewelry or art, you may want to consider separate coverage.

Cover Office Equipment Separately

If you have a home office, you can get affordable business coverage to protect the equipment you use for your business, rather than putting it under your basic home policy.

Renting? You Still Need Coverage

If you are a renter, the insurance that your landlord carries will cover damages to the building, not to your personal possessions. Renter's or tenant's insurance can be pretty cheap, so be sure to shop around for the best policy and the best price. Look for policies that cover more than the replacement of your possessions, as you could encounter costly relocation or living costs while you wait for your apartment to be repaired. (To learn more, read Are You Ready To Rent?)

Keep Your Documents Safe

With the exception of your will, which should be kept by your attorney or local registrar's office, its a good idea to rent a safety deposit box for the originals of all other important documents. This includes your marriage license, home deed, birth certificates and other original legal documents. Keeping these in your home puts you at risk of having them stolen or destroyed by fire, floods, or other disasters.

Create An Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is a small and compact package of things that you would want to bring should you need to flee from a disaster. It should contain copies of important documents, enough traveler's checks to make it through a few days at a hotel until you find a bank, copies of necessary prescriptions, health and dental insurance cards, computer backups of your financial records, and a copy of your most recent federal and state income tax forms. Because your kit contains all your personal information, its a good idea to keep it locked in a safe.

Create A Wish List

Take the time now to make a wish list of items to take in the event that you have some time to collect a few select items before you need to flee. This can be anything from photo negatives or CDs full of your family photos, jewelry, or any other items that are important to you that could be easily stuffed in a bag and are not easily replaced.

Be Proactive

Preparing for unexpected events may sound impossible, but there are many other things you can do beyond insurance and keeping your important documents safe. Home upgrades, such as hurricane shutters and moving wiring to the attic, can reduce damages in the event of certain disasters and also lower your insurance premiums. (For more, see Five Insurance Policies Everyone Should Have and Insurance Tips For Homeowners.)
Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    6 Risks International Stocks Face in 2016

    Learn about risk factors that can influence your investment in foreign stocks and funds, and what regions are more at-risk than others.
  2. Home & Auto

    6 Reasons To Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance

    Homebuyers who put less than 20% down will likely be forced to secure private mortgage insurance. Here are six reasons to avoid it.
  3. Insurance

    How Much Homeowners Insurance Should You Carry?

    This breakdown of coverage into its component parts will provide the answer.
  4. Insurance

    Is Renter’s Insurance Worth It?

    Renter’s insurance is so relatively inexpensive that there’s really no reason not to have it. Still, how much does it cost and what does it cover?
  5. Insurance

    The Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance

    What factors into the the premiums you pay for homeowners insurance? Much depends on where you live. But there are ways to lower your rates.
  6. Home & Auto

    5 Tips on Last-Minute Home Winterization

    To ensure your home is in the best shape to survive the chilly weather ahead, here are five, last-minute tips to help winterize your home.
  7. Investing

    Understanding Black Swan Events

    Finance professor and Wall Street trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb popularized the term in his writings. The rise of the Internet, the Sept. 11 attacks and World War I were all black swan events. ...
  8. Your Clients

    Now Is the Time to Check In on Clients' Insurance

    Insurance forms the foundation of many financial plans, and you need to make sure that your clients’ coverage is kept up-to-date.
  9. Real Estate

    4 Mortgage Calculators that Include Taxes and Insurance

    Discover four websites that offer mortgage calculators that include property taxes and homeowners insurance cost along with other financial features.
  10. Taxes

    Don't Miss These Tax Deductions

    Knowing the tax deductions you're entitled to can make or break your bank account. Do you know about all these insurance-related deductions?
Trading Center