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On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2018 | Property Damage

Picture credit to Southwest Farm Press .Hurricane season started months ago. Are you prepared? If the answer is no, there’s no judgment here. Trust me, I fully understand that life gets in the way of many things…especially things that seem unimportant or unnecessary at the time. But if you’ve read this far into this blog post, do yourself a favor and – at the very least – cut and paste the following into an electronic calendar reminder entry: “find or request insurance policy & take pics & video of home/personal property.” Do it NOW. I’ll wait…

Did it? You sure? Ok, good. I would not nag you about this if I did not know, first hand, how important it is to have this information gathered and saved before a storm hits. My elderly parents experienced Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in September 2017 on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their home – my childhood home – suffered extensive damage. I was not there to help them inventory their home beforehand, but I wish I had been there to help them. I also wish they had requested a copy of their insurance policy beforehand. It would have made their insurance claim process so much easier and would have certainly relieved some of the significant post-hurricane stress they both endured.

Having a copy of your policy is crucial because you should review the terms of your policy before making a claim, if possible. Additionally, creating a home inventory in writing or in photos and/or video is so important, not only for storm-related claims, but for other unexpected perils such as fire damage or other covered losses. Consider creating a room-by-room photo or video inventory or diary of everything in each room. And don’t forget capturing photos and video of the exterior of your home, your garage, and your roof! Other important documentation to gather include receipts of purchased items, instruction manuals of large appliances and televisions or other large-ticket items, and any mortgage documentation. If you have a smart phone, you may want to search for apps that can make this gathering and archiving process even easier. But, at the very least, all you need to do is take photos and videos of all the aforementioned items and create a note or file on your smart phone that attaches all of this information. Then, email it to yourself and one other trusted person for safekeeping. In the unfortunate event that you suffer a catastrophic loss of your physical documentation or belongings, you will always be able to access this information electronically. And make sure to update your electronic file as you purchase new items or make upgrades on your home! Trust me, doing this NOW will save you and your family a great deal of stress and anxiety down the road. We are always here to answer any insurance-related questions and guide you through the process. Don’t hesitate to call a qualified and reputable insurance professional with vast knowledge and experience representing policyholders across Florida.