Create a Natural Disaster Plan – Check Rebuilding Costs

Many homeowners underestimate the cost to rebuild their homes in the event of a natural disaster. It’s important to review your policy given the current rise in real estate values and inflation. All updates to your homeowner’s policy need to happen BEFORE disaster strikes given that most insurance companies issue a moratorium on new and existing business during a disaster event.

Here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Create a home inventory of your possessions. Use a smartphone to make a video recording in each room of your home while you narrate. Identify the items in the room with as much description and price information you can provide. You may want to create a spreadsheet listing the contents of each room and price information (provide receipts when possible).
  2. Check the cost to rebuild. Save receipts for any improvements you have made to the home. Contact your agent to review your coverage with attention to rebuilding cost.
  3. Decide whether you need flood insurance taking into consideration climate change. Flood insurance is especially important for those in or adjacent to a flood plain. You can check the proximity of your home to flood plains at the FEMA website.
  4. Protect critical documents. Social security cards, original birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports, and divorce decrees should be stored in a safe deposit box. Click here for a list of documents you should digitize.
  5. Pack a Go-Kit. In addition to your wallet, you may wish to assemble a kit including important and valuable items such as the safe deposit key, jewelry, and a jump drive with critical computer files that can be taken quickly in the event you need to evacuate.

Reference: Kiplinger Magazine, Rivan V. Stinson, June 2022

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