Protect essential documents, check insurance coverage at the start of storm season

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — Summer storm and hurricane season is upon us, and there are things you can do financially now to make sure you’re prepared for a natural disaster.

Nate Johnson, wealth management adviser at Merrill Lynch, says the first thing to do is make sure all your essential documents are safe from the elements. This includes your wills, trusts, deeds, account statements and insurance information.

Johnson says to put all relevant documents in a fireproof safe.

He also says that with home prices up 20% nationwide, check with your homeowners insurance and make sure your coverage is still in line with the actual value of your property.

“If you’ve done a retrofit of any kind, chances are the replacement cost is now higher than the policy originally written,” Johnson said.

It also says to make sure you keep track of the make/model and serial numbers of any expensive items you have purchased. You can also put it in the fireproof safe.

“Make sure you have adequate access to money along the way, you know, whether it’s a home equity line of credit or just adequate emergency funds,” Johnson said. .

Johnson says that after an emergency it will likely take some time for home insurance to kick in and you want to make sure you can continue to live as uninterrupted as possible.

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Justin D. O'Neill