Document, Document . . .
The most important thing you can do after a disaster when filing a claim is to document, document, document and cross all your "t" and dot all your "i". Why do I say this? Having worked as an insurance agent for a major company for several years this is one thing I have learned. Recently I also read an article in the South Bay Daily Breeze regarding people in various parts of the country who suffered from natural disasters, but because they did not document well enough, their claims were denied or appealed. Yikes! All because they did not document enough or correctly? Yep!
Here are some tips to help you if you experience a natural disaster or some other type of accident (car accident or home fire, etc.).
1. Know what your insurance policies cover and do not cover. Read your insurance policies carefully. If you do not understand what they are saying, sit down with your insurance agent, ask questions and make any adjustments that need made.
2. Most people in the United States do not realize their homeowners policy does not cover flood, mudslides or earthquakes. Those are separate policies. Flood Insurance comes from the National Flood Insurance. Earthquake Insurance comes from your current homeowners insurance company or possibly your state earthquake insurance. Home insurance includes, renters, homeowner condo, homes and rental dwelling property. Businesses are covered under a commercial policy.
3. Most home insurance policies only cover up to a certain amount on personal items like jewelry, computers, sports equipment, art work, etc.. You may need a Personal Articles Policy if they are over your current policy coverage limits.
4. Before a disaster happens, take photos and videos inside your house. Take photos of all your belongs, even open closet doors and drawers to take photos. Keep an inventory of all your personal possessions. Take photos of things like crown moldings, granite counter tops, custom cabinets, etc. Any thing that would need replacing back to its original condition. Keep copies of receipts for upgrades and remodeling. Keep copies of the photos, videos, inventory and receipts in your home, a safe deposit box, and at a family member or friend's home who lives out of state. If you have cash registered receipts, make copies of them, they fade over time.
5. After a disaster happens, call your insurance agent as soon as possible to file a claim.
6. Document, document, document all conversations with dates, time called, who you spoke with and what you and they said. Keep a note book. Note: It is against the law to record a phone conversation without some one's permission. Save all email and text correspondence. Personal experience: Our daughter was in a car accident at the beginning of the year where there were injuries to her and her 2 children. Having a mother who worked in the insurance industry I told her to document all conversations, emails and text. Because she did this they received a good settlement.
FEMA and insurance companies have denied claims due to unsatisfactory documentation. FEMA has been known to ask for money back if the claim is not documented to their satisfaction. (dailybreeze.com, Sunday, October 15, 2017. "FEMA rejects $1.2B in appeals", by David A. Lieb and Ryan J. Foley, the Associated Press) Make sure you are covered when a disaster or accident happens to you. It only takes a few minutes to document things that are important to you.
Emergency Preparedness Specialist
November Monthly Assignments
Emergency Preparedness . . .
72 Hour Individual Emergency
Preparedness Backpack . . .
Updates . . .
Congratulations! If you have been following the monthly assignment since January 2017 you should have completed each house hold member's Food Kit (including water), Hygiene Kit and Stressor Kit. If you have not completed them go back to January 2017 and scroll through the postings through October 2017.
Now we will work on adding other items that should be in each family member's backpack:
Note: Last week we added a change of clothing. This needs checked periodically because our sizes changes over time.
Add the following each week:
1st Week: Small LED flashlight with extra batteries. I found these at the 99 Cent Store or other discount stores. Keep in a side pocket for easy access. Keep the extra batteries in a separate small zip lock bag and check periodically to make sure they are alright.
2nd Week: Copies of all insurances (medical, car, homeowners, etc.), copies of ID cards (driver's license, student ID cards), copy of passport, list of medications the family member takes, list of allergies. Keep in a small zip lock bag. You can put these in your Stressor Kit or someplace in the backpack (maybe safety pinned inside). You may need to shrink them down to fit on one page.
3rd Week: Pocket knife or multi-purpose tool: Age appropriate. Keep inside the backpack or a side pocket. emergencyessentials.com has them for about $6-$7. Click here to order.
4th Week: Para-cord bracelet: I have seen these for about $5. Find a Boy Scout and he may be able to make you one. Keep in the backpack or a side pocket. Or, you can purchase some para-cord by itself. Para-cord is a strong light weight cord that can be used for many things. emergencyessentials.com has the cord for $5.00. Click here to order.
Note: These are great items and next months are great Christmas stocking stuffers.
December items to add just in case you want to get an early start:
1) Seychelle Filter Water Bottle--can be purchased at store.lds.org for about $20.
2) Mess kit--can be purchased at most department and sporting goods stores in their camping section.
3) Eating utensil set--can be purchased at most department or sporting goods stores in their camping section.
4) Firestarter--great product that starts instantly. Go to emergencyessentials.com to order. $2 a pouch. Each backpack should have 1-2.
These 8 items finishes our 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks.
Emergency Preparedness Ideas
The Seventy2 Emergency Backpack Kits as seen on
Shark Tank . . .
I saw these on Shark Tank last month. Personally I would not purchase them. Then are too expensive, $350-$370. I think you are more paying for the fancy pack the emergency supplies come in. Plus there is not enough food and water to sustain for 3 days.
It would be a lot less expensive to purchase the items individually and set up your own personal 72 Hours Emergency Preparedness Backpacks. Most of these items can be purchased in discount stores, emergencyessentials.com, other online companies and other retail stores.
Since January we have been working on the 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks, including the Food Kit, Hygiene Kit and Stressor kit. Ours provides much more for a lesser cost. Be wise, be smart!
Why store ingredients for your food storage?
1. A readily available source of food
2. Insurance for the next economic crisis
3. Peace of mind knowing you are provided for, no matter what