Disaster strikes when you least expect it, but when it does it is extremely important to be prepared. No matter if we are talking about hurricanes, floods, fires or any other type of natural disaster, it is very important to keep your personal documents in a safe place. There are two reasons why you need to protect the documents: firstly, because you will need them when making the claim (provided that your home is insured against natural disasters, of course) and secondly to save you the trouble of going through all the formalities for getting new documents, as this can take months and cost you a small fortune. Here is a brief overview of all the documents that need to be protected in case of disaster:
1. Personal Documents
Personal documents are by far the most important ones, and they include your Social Security card, your high school and University diplomas (Bachelor’s Degrees, Master’s Degrees, Ph.D and any other sort of diplomas), birth and marriage documents, passports, your ID as well as your driver’s license. Seal them in a tight container to prevent water damage and put them in a safe place – better be safe than sorry!
2. Documents For Your Assets
If you have assets, then it is extremely important to protect the home and property documents, such as home deeds, insurance policies and any other type of documents related to your estate. On the other hand, if you are an art collector or you have very expensive items in your home and you have authenticity certificates for them, then make sure to keep those in a safe place as well, otherwise you will be unable to prove that they are genuine.
3. Financial Documents
The third and perhaps most important documents that you need to protect in case of disaster are the financial documents: this includes the health insurance cards and documents, the bank statements, tax records as well as stock certificates, if any. This aspect is particularly important if you work as a stock broker – in that case, you need to pay greater attention to your financial documents.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, it is important to understand that in case of disaster, you must secure all the documents that can give you a hard time with the insurance claims. Insurance companies are very vigilant, and without the proper documentation it can take a lot until you get your money, especially if you do not present proof of possession for the items mentioned above.