Now that you have purchased your home, is your home covered against catastrophic loss due to fire, wind, floods or other unforeseeable and uncontrollable situations?  It is like your "new baby" and you need to protect it and care for it as much as possible.

Many have watched, either in person or via the television or internet as the Santa Ana winds have swept a wild fire through southern California, burning everything in their path. Like many other catastrophic situations, Mother Nature is not choosy when she deals her hand; she takes from the more affluent in the same breath as she takes from the poor.

In this latest situation, whole sub-divisions, mobile home parks and communities were reduced to smoldering ashes. Much like the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Texas, the recipients of the loss are homeowners and landlords. This loss to these individuals should be reduced by the property insurance they maintain on their respective properties; however, one can never be sure.

As you should protect yourself in any investment, it is important to make sure that you are protected against catastrophic loss with respect to your investment property. Whether it is the home you live in as your personal residence or a piece of income property, you need to make sure that you have insurance in place.

Lending companies and mortgage holders require insurance to be maintained by the borrower so that they, the lending company or mortgage holder, are without loss should something happen such as fire; so should you be covered from loss. Rebuilding a residence is an expensive situation and maintaining an insurance that covers such a situation is imperative.

If you have any questions about the extent of your coverage, you should consult with your insurance agent. If you haven’t evaluated your home for its contents since you purchased your home five or ten years ago, you should probably sit down and make a list of all of the contents and set a value as to what it would cost for replacement should something catastrophic happen. Most of us purchase our insurance when we purchase our property and then just pay the premiums each month without consideration of the addition of new furniture or other belongings that we bring in over the course of the next several years. Making sure that you know what all is in your home can save you many hours of additional anguish should you have such an unfortunate experience and be forced to try to recall all of your possessions during the stressful time following such devastation.

In addition to the insurance policy, a person should probably purchase a small fire proof safe in which they can store their important papers. If you have possessions such as irreplaceable pictures, you might consider placing them in a fire proof container as well or scanning them to a disc and then placing them in a safety deposit box at your bank. In the recent situation with the fires in southern California, many of the residents had no time to locate and take those things with them; it was merely a matter of getting out with their lives.

No one likes to think about situations such as this; however, thinking about it after the fact is too late. Our heartfelt concerns and prayers go out to the many people who have sustained loss in our sister cities and we just wanted to alert our friends and colleagues and make them aware of things that we all take for granted.


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