If Your Home Was Destroyed – Could You Replace Everything?
The conversation of natural disasters has been all too current as we’ve seen Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma devastate the most beautiful parts of our country, while several wildfires have consumed millions of acres this year alone. Having just experienced the Goodwin Fire, we know how scary and real these natural disasters truly are.
After the Goodwin Fire, we spoke to hundreds of misplaced people from the evacuation, and it was devastating to find out how many hadn’t thought about insurance until the wildfire forced them from their homes. The fact is: until we see natural disasters as a true threat to our own homes, it’s not a concern.
While being in the desert eliminates the immediate threat of hurricanes, we do live in a high-risk area for fires. It’s important to understand the precautionary steps to be prepared, and the right questions to ask to make sure you get the right amount of coverage to replace all your belongings you’ve worked so hard for.
- If you’ve made home upgrades, tell your agent. You know that you need homeowner’s insurance – but where many people fall short is understanding how much. Many people will make home improvements over time, but fail to let their insurer know. That pretty teak flooring, granite countertops, and custom maple cabinets will cost more to replace than your standard features. In other words, if you only purchased enough coverage to replace your standard features and your home is destroyed, you’ll lose all that money invested into your beautiful kitchen upgrade. If you’re making upgrades to your home, adding rooms, investing into new landscaping – talk with your insurance agent to make sure you’re not left at a loss. We previously wrote a blog covering the top 5 major home improvements to let your agent know about.
- Take pictures and videos of everything. It’s good to keep an inventory of things you have in your home. If a natural disaster does occur, you’ll have visual evidence to support your claims. It’ll make the process much easier, and it’s one less thing you have to worry about in a tragic circumstance. You bought a new TV and sound system? Inherited a 10 carat diamond ring? Upgraded your computers? Take a photo and place it in a digital folder on your phone. You’ll be grateful you did.
- Work with your agent to value your assets. It’s important to put a number on what your home and all the contents are worth. If you opt for minimal coverage, it could be even more costly to replace everything – and you face the possibility of hefty out of pocket expenditures. A 30 minute conversation could change everything in the face of disaster.
The time to think about how to protect your home and everything in it you’ve worked so hard for is now. If you’ve got questions about whether your home and personal belongings are sufficiently covered, feel free to reach out. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have!