Courtesy Cal Fire and FEMA
Preparing your home for a natural disaster or fire, includes checking that your insurance coverage is adequate and creating an up-to-date home inventory. Keep a copy of your home inventory in a firebox and with your Go Bag.
Check insurance coverage
Check your policy limits and coverage annually and make sure the policy reflects the correct square footage, features in the home and any recent improvements. Consider purchasing building code upgrade coverage. Keep a list of insurance contacts and policy details in your Go Bag.
What’s covered | The details matter. Understand if you have a replacement cost policy that pays to replace all your items at current market price or an actual cash value policy that takes depreciation into account and pays less for aged items.
Home improvements | If you make home improvements, be sure to update your coverage including for new countertops, floors, etc.
Maintain insurance | If your home is paid off, be sure to maintain homeowner’s insurance. Without insurance, you likely won’t have the funds to rebuild.
Renters insurance | Renters can lose everything in a fire and be left to start over. Many insurers bundle coverage with an auto insurance policy at affordable prices.
Prepare a home inventory
Filing insurance claims will be easier if you have an accurate home inventory by documenting the contents of your home. Use a smartphone to make a video of your belongings, including vehicles and equipment. Keep the inventory and photos outside the home or stored in the cloud.
Make an inventory | Video or photograph each room of the home. Remember to document drawers and closets. Don’t forget the garage and sheds. Download a Home Inventory Checklist from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or download the app to make one on a phone.
Document value | Keep a record or video of prices of items and where and when you purchased them. Make note of important or expensive items like electronics, appliances, sports equipment, TVs, computers, jewelry, etc.