K-State Research and Extension’s Our Valuable Records publication is a great starting point for listing and organizing valuable records such as receipts, documentation, proofs of ownership, and pieces of identification that may be necessary to collect insurance, pension, or retirement benefits; to receive military compensation; and to solve tax or inheritance problems.
Collecting and organizing this information now can help #insurance claims in the event of a disaster. Store your information in a waterproof, fireproof container. Take this action now and protect yourself later.
Where it rains it can #flood. One inch of water in your home can cost $25,000 in damage. Homeowners and renters insurance do not typically cover flood damage.
Do you have flood insurance? Talk to your agent to find out what is covered by your existing policy and ask about flood insurance. Contact National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at 800-427-4661 or https://www.floodsmart.com/
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.
Farm families and other small business owners have another element they should consider when preparing that inventory and reviewing insurance coverage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can. Prepare Kansas this year will help you take steps to be more financially prepared to weather any challenges, plus it’s a good way to stay organized.
You don’t know where to get back to if you don’t know where you started, right? This week’s challenge takes you step by step through preparing a household inventory. Why does this matter?
Emergencies and disasters may result in insurance claims. Your insurance company will likely require a listing of items lost or destroyed in order to document the claim. A household inventory is an itemized list of the contents of your home, including basement, attic, and garage. If you have sheds or storage areas on your property or if you rent a storage unit somewhere else, be sure to include a list of the contents of those too.
While it is true that there is an initial investment of time and effort in preparing the inventory from scratch, once completed it will be useful into the future with regular updating. Your challenge this week is to prepare, or update, a household inventory, include storage areas. Here are some tips to get started:
Household inventories can take many forms. Use the format that best suits your needs. Don’t get hung up on being perfect, if you are starting from scratch focus on the big ticket and hard to replace items.
When describing furnishing and equipment, be as specific and accurate as possible.
Include the original cost, date purchased, any alternations or repairs done on the item, and corresponding cost.
Photograph or videotape every wall in each room of your home and storage areas.
Include open closets, cabinets, cupboards, and drawers.
Take close-ups of unique or expensive items to document their condition
Date photographs; when videotaping verbally describe the contents as you move around the room
Don’t forget to include personal items that might not always be stored at home and items that are in your vehicles.
Save copies in more than format and more than one place. For example, keep a paper copy and store copies of the document, video inventory and pictures to a flash drive and the cloud.
Here are links to two examples of household inventory forms.
Food Safey – Disasters and Power Outages
Salvaging and handling food after power outages, floods and other disasters may raise questions and present challenges. Refer to these resources to help recover food from a disaster.