We all think “It won’t happen to us,” the fact is, it does. Then you will think “What do I do now?” Remember that there are steps that you can take to minimize your loss or extent of damage, and to make your claim a little less problematic. Here are a few step that you can take to cover your coverage.
- Keep a fully detailed current household inventory checklist is a must. Here is a printable/downloadable version for your convenience (http://www.floir.com/siteDocuments/InventoryChecklist_6-26-08.pdf) from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. With a written inventory and a video and photographic record you will be able to give the proper information in a very fast and efficient manner. Also, be sure to record the serial numbers of any electronic or computer equipment. Keeping a copy of your insurance policy along with your checklist and photos/video somewhere safe and accessible is a key to prevention as well.
- Smoke Alarms! Be sure to replace that battery your husband took out of the smoke alarm for the TV remote ASAP. A properly installed and maintained fire extinguisher can provide an early warning and control of a home fire. This simple precaution that could minimize the property damage caused by a fire and, more importantly, save lives! Fire extinguishers in your home or business, can also help keep a small fire from becoming a much larger one. We all would rather have a burnt kitchen area, rather than a pile of rubble that was our home.
- Inspect the locks on your front door or any other door that gives access to your home or business. The installation of dead bolt locks will make entrance into your home more difficult to get through forcefully. Basement windows, first-floor windows, or any window opening onto a fire escape should be equipped with a working window lock(s) as well. These simple steps can greatly reduce the risk of home invasion and burglary.
- Florida storms are a major issue to be prepared for as well. If you live in or near these areas you might want to consider installing hurricane/storm shutters and/or hurricane resistant laminated glass windows and doors. Did you know, insurance companies are required by law to discount any homeowner who has installed hurricane/storm shutters or hurricane resistant laminated glass windows and doors? Check with your insurance agent about whether you can take advantage of such a discount. Be sure to take advantage of these locally offered discounts.
- If you live in a flood zone or think you might be at risk for flooding, you might want to consider a flood insurance policy. Most homeowners don’t realize that the typical homeowners’ insurance policy DOES NOT COVER FLOOD DAMAGE. You need a completely separate policy to protect your home or business.