Prepare Kansas

Tag: #KSRE

#PrepareKansas – Week 3, Creating a Financial Grab-and-Go Kit

September is National Preparedness Month. It is also our annual Prepare Kansas online challenge. Prepare Kansas 2017 will provide tips on getting financially prepared ahead of disasters and emergencies. This year’s program will be conducted through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page. No registration is required, so Kansans and anyone interested in planning ahead for emergencies can follow on Facebook and this blog at any time during September, pick up handy information and interact with K-State extension specialists and agents. Today’s post is written by Elizabeth Kiss, Family Resource Management Specialist.

If you had a few precious minutes to leave your home or office, what would you take? This week’s challenge is to create a financial grab-and-go kit.

Why is this important? If you have your most important documents and information at hand in a grab-and-go kit, it can help to get you back on firm financial footing more quickly.

Your kit should be a waterproof, fireproof container that can be taken with you at a moment’s notice. Be sure to keep it in a secure place in your home.

What should you include in your kit? At a minimum you’ll want to have some cash and the financial information and personal identification needed to conduct your day-to-day financial life.

Other information to include in your grab-and-go kit:

  • Personal information such as copies of driver’s licenses, passport, and social security cards and key documents that may be needed to restore your financial records
  • Account information such as financial account numbers; copies of ATM, debit, and credit cards; insurance cards, policies, or other proof of insurance coverage; and contact information for all financial service and insurance providers
  • Household inventory
  • Safe deposit key
  • Information about prescription medication
  • Contact information (phone, email, or web site) for family members, doctors, veterinarians
  • Pocket notebook and pen or pencil

Family records, such as birth, marriage, or death certificates may be kept in a safe deposit box. If they are, consider making copies for your grab-and-go box. Other items that may be in safe deposit box include wills, contracts, deeds, stocks, and bond as well as titles to vehicles. Again, if the original is in a safe deposit box, you still may want to make copies for your grab-and-go box.

Want to learn more? Download this fact sheet from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore https://www.bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/MF3055.pdf

Today is National Preparedness Day!

Friday, September 15 is National Preparedness Day. Take part by continuing to work on the #PrepareKansas challenges!

  • Our challenge for Week 1 was to prepare, our update, your household inventory. Don’t forget to include the attic, basement, garage, and storage areas.
  • Our challenge for Week 2 is to review your homeowner’s/renter’s and auto insurance coverage. Things to review are what’s covered, your deductibles, and policy limits.

Not sure how to get started on these challenges? Jamie Rathbun, family and consumer sciences agent, K-State Research and Extension Midway District goes Live each Thursday in September to show you how.

Missed one of the Live events? Access the Week 1 recording at http://fb.me/41Y5Dvd8g  and the Week 2 recording at http://fb.me/1k1mj5v84 

Have a great weekend and check back on Monday for the Week 3 challenge!

Insurance Considerations for Farm Families and Small Business Owners

September is National Preparedness Month. It is also our annual Prepare Kansas online challenge. Prepare Kansas 2017 will provide tips on getting financially prepared ahead of disasters and emergencies. This year’s program will be conducted through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page. No registration is required, so Kansans and anyone interested in planning ahead for emergencies can follow on Facebook and this blog at any time during September, pick up handy information and interact with K-State extension specialists and agents. Today’s post is written by Debra Wood,CFP®  K-State Research and Extension – Central Kansas District Family Resource Management Agent.

Most of the focus of #PrepareKansas has been around preparing yourself and your family ahead of a disaster.

Photo credit: Reed Koop

Farm families and other small business owners have another element they should consider when preparing that inventory and reviewing insurance coverage.

My story

Our home and farm was hit by an EF4 tornado on May 25, 2016. Everything was totally destroyed. Ten buildings were wiped out down to the concrete slabs. Machinery was ground up into little pieces. In addition to coming up with a list of household contents, we had to think through what was in all the sheds, the office and the shop.

Photo credit: Linda Roskens

The machinery was scheduled on an insurance policy. We did not have some items insured, such as trailers and older equipment deciding to retain that risk, knowing we could cover that expense if something happened to them. We never thought it would all disappear at once, in an instant. One or two items, though, we discovered had not been added to the policy. This demonstrated to us the importance of having an emergency fund for the household, and also for the business to cover deductibles and things you decide to self-insure.

One thing we had underinsured was shop contents. We had coverage, but it was not nearly enough to cover the cost of all that was lost. Think of how much you have accumulated over the years of your farming or business operation. Has the value on your policy kept up with the value of the buildings, equipment and contents? Reviewing insurance coverage annually is as important for your business as it is your home and auto, to make sure you have adequate coverage in case something happens.

Take a look in each shed and make a list of contents. Do the same for your shop, store, or office contents. List each item, along with the date purchased and cost, if known. Don’t forget items you have stored in a different location. Make sure if you are not insuring an item that it is an intentional decision and not an oversight.

Business considerations

When reviewing your insurance coverage, compare your list of machinery, equipment, and inventory to the list of items you have scheduled on your policy. Is there anything you have forgotten? Are all buildings adequately insured? It may not be economically feasible to insure everything without spending all your profits on risk management. You may have to strike a balance. Decide which risks you want to transfer to insurance, and which you want to retain. Cover those items you can’t afford to lose, and those which are leveraged.

In addition to property coverage for buildings, contents and machinery or equipment, some business owners may want to consider business interruption insurance coverage. For those experiencing something the magnitude of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, this coverage can help provide funds to make up the difference between your business’ normal income and its income during and immediately after a forced shutdown. These funds can be used to pay regular bills such as rent or mortgage, employee wages, and moving and storage expenses.

Another insurance business owners should review each year is the amount of liability insurance coverage they have. Limits can be increased if needed, and umbrella policies are available to cover the business and owners at a higher level than standard property insurance will cover.

Thanks Deb for sharing your story!

#PrepareKansas — Week 2 Challenge, Reviewing Insurance Coverage

September is National Preparedness Month. It is also our annual Prepare Kansas online challenge. Prepare Kansas 2017 will provide tips on getting financially prepared ahead of disasters and emergencies. This year’s program will be conducted through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page. No registration is required, so Kansans and anyone interested in planning ahead for emergencies can follow on Facebook and this blog at any time during September, pick up handy information and interact with K-State extension specialists and agents. Today’s post is written by Elizabeth Kiss, Family Resource Management Specialist.

Things change. Circumstances change. This week’s challenge is to review your insurance coverage. Why does this matter?

The purpose of insurance is to cover major losses, such as can occur with storms and other weather-related disasters. It is important to have adequate coverage on your home, vehicles, and possessions so that they can be repaired or replaced if damaged. It is recommended to review your insurance coverage at least annually. Every few years you may want to schedule a face-to-face review with your insurance agent.

Last week’s challenge was to create, or update, a home inventory. With that information you now have an accurate picture of your home and its contents in the event of damage or loss.

Review your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to be sure you have adequate coverage and understand the terms of the policy.

  • Policy limits. If your home and contents are not coverage for at least 80 percent of its replacement cost, rather than actual cash value, it is likely that the full cost of rebuilding after an insured loss is not covered.
  • Coverage. It is important to be clear about what disasters (perils) are covered. For example, not all policies cover damages caused by earth movement, flood, or sewer back-up. Some policies exclude certain types of property.
  • Deductibles. Insurance policies typically require that the policy holder pay a specific amount of money before the insurance company will pay a claim. This is the deductible. If possible, set aside emergency funds equal to the amount of the deductible. This can speed up the recovery process.

Review your auto insurance too. Vehicles depreciate and there is no reason to cover the car for more than it is currently worth. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your auto resulting from events other than collision such as windstorm, hail, or fire. Collision coverage is limited to damaged caused to your car from a collision.

Want to learn more? Download this fact sheet from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore https://www.bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/MF3055.pdf

Another informative resource is this new guide: Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness and Recovery. The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) partnered with the American Red Cross and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to produce the guide. Chapter 2, Protecting Your Property, is a good place to start.