Asset Planning, Inc Blog

The latest from the team.

Insurance Coverage Check Up

Watching the news coverage of Hurricane Dorian this past week as well as the fire in Murrieta, had us sympathizing for the people in their path, what they were going through and how their lives would be affected by these natural disasters. Naturally, this also made us start thinking of our own preparedness for a natural disaster. We recently posted about creating your own emergency kits for your homes. Another thing to think of is what happens to your home and other belongings that were damaged during one of these incidents. It's important to periodically review your insurance policies to make sure that your coverage is sufficient. Our lives are constantly changing, which means you could have recently done a remodel to your home or purchased a brand-new computer. Will your homeowner's insurance cover these new and improved items? One way to make sure is to keep an updated inventory of your personal belongings as well as any documentation for upgrades you have done to your home. Without this documentation your homeowner's insurance may just pay you the basic value of these items and you will not recoup the increased value. One tip I read about, and which seems like the easiest way to inventory your property is to walk around your home with your phone and take a video of each room with its contents. In the video you would show the items of most value and explain what they are. Not only will this prove the items existence, but most phones are hooked up to a cloud-based recovery system. So even if you lose or damage your phone in a disaster the video will be saved to the cloud. Obviously, you would not want to share this video with anyone and should keep it private. No posting to social media sites like FB or Instagram as this could make you a target for break ins. Even if you "know" everyone on your friend lists. We still recommend keeping physical documentation either in a fireproof box, safety deposit box or a flash drive but it never hurts to have more proof. You may also want to look into additional flood and earthquake policies.  Maybe you decided to skip these policies when you first bought your home because they can be pricey, or you went with a higher deductible. Now would be the time to get a check up to see if these supplemental policies are right for you.

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Protecting Your Home While on Vacation

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick off to summer and for many people, summer is a great time to plan a vacation. Unfortunately robbers know this and it can also be a prime time for home break-ins. Having a house sitter stay in your home to watch your pets, water your plants, gather any mail or flyers, and turn lights off and on is definitely your best option for insuring your home is safe but this may not be an option for everyone. Here are a few tips to safeguard your home while you are away.

  1. Have your mail stopped. Nothing screams that no one is home more than a bunch of mail and flyers piling up on your doorstep. You can visit the post office website and submit a request online.
  2. 2.Get timers for your lights. Leaving your lights on 24/7 is a dead giveaway that you are not home and will make your electric bill sky rocket. Instead, put your living room lights on timers to come on at dusk and turn off at bed time.
  3. 3.Ask a neighbor for help. Usually a neighbor will not mind keeping an eye out for anything suspicious going on at your house and may even be willing to pull out the trash cans for you. Asking doesn’t hurt and I’m sure they would appreciate the favor in return.
  4. 4.Make sure everything is locked up. This seems so obvious but one of the biggest mistakes people make is leaving a door or window unlocked in their rush to get going on their vacation. If your house is locked up tight the thief will have to work harder to break in and will most likely leave if it is taking too long.
  5. 5.Don’t post about it. Everyone loves getting away on vacation but posting this information on social media will notify all of your connections that you are away from home. Think twice before giving out too much information. You can always post those great vacation pics when you get home!
  6. 6.Get a security system. If you travel a lot or are away from home most of the day in general it may be a good idea to get an alarm or a camera security system. The cost for these systems may be small in comparison to the peace of mind you will have knowing that your home is protected.

Most importantly, enjoy your vacation knowing that your home is secure while you are away!

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