Are You Prepared for an Emergency?

No one wants to think about it, but sometimes Mother Nature can be mighty and fierce. If you already own a home or are buying a new home, you will need to take this into consideration! Picture it, there is fire that erupted in your house while you were at work. Between the fire, smoke and water, everything is gone. Are you prepared for what comes next?

The obvious answer for most of us is yes because we have homeowner's or rental insurance. So you call your insurance agent and they say, "of course we'll help. We will need a list of items in your home." You think, ok I know what was in my house.

But do you really? Can you really recall everything in your home? And even if you can remember most, the amount of time it will take to recall each item and submit it to the insurance agent will take time. There are a couple things that will help speed up the process so you can start rebuilding.

One thing is to take pictures. Snap photos in each room, major appliances, items of value, etc. This will be beneficial to the insurance company as proof of what you owned. You may have a high efficiency furnace that is brand new and you want the full value of it. It takes minutes to do and saves hours and days of research.

Another thing to do would be make an inventory checklist.  This is the State of Michigan's Guide to Homeowners Insurance- Included is an inventory worksheet. There are many others online to use as well and your insurance  agency should have one also. Document everything of value. Make sure it is in an email or a cloud, such as Google Drive or iCloud, so you can access it remotely if everything is gone.

You are also going to need to track expenses like eating out, traveling to work from your temporary residence, hotel/motel costs, etc. Insurance will reimburse you these items if you are truly displaced. If the home is mainly livable, you may not get the benefits.

Be prepared and know your insurance policy. Know what is and is not covered and for how much. If you have been in your home for a long time, talk to your agent about possible upgrades or downgrades to your policy. Protect yourself for you cannot predict the unpredictable.

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