The Insurance Information Network of California suggests five expense-free steps that will help you protect your home. Of course, we are passing these tips your way because these steps apply to any homeowner in the United States.

home building blocks“In today’s economy, everyone has to make some tough cuts,” said Candysse Miller, IINC executive director, in a statement. “But you don’t have to spend a fortune—or in some cases, anything—to help guard your household against loss.”

This advice is important for Georgia homeowners and renters as well, as we’ve experienced many natural disasters of our own in recent years.

What are these “No-Penny Pinching Preparations” suggested by IINC?

1. Create a home inventory

This is a sure way to identify and account for items covered by your insurance policy. And let’s face it, nobody is able to remember everything after disasters strikes. Before “it” happens is the time to make a list!

2. Organize Financial Documents

Make sure to place all of your most important papers in an easily accessible and excluded folder that is easy to grab-n-go in case of evacuation. This may include such information as your social security cards, passports, and other important documents that are not (or not easily) replaced.

If possible, consider keeping copies in a safe-deposit box or in another secure location.

3. Create an insurer emergency contact list

Having policy details easily accessible in the early days after a disaster can help with your claims process. Of course, an agent like the Gillman Insurance problem solvers will be a supportive, go-to resource in the case of a claim-related event.

Keep the direct phone number of your insurance agent, along with other contacts and policy information in your smart phone or a wallet-size information sheet can be a life-saver!

4. Plan and practice evacuation

We all remember practicing the many situation “drills” in school. This is done for a reason. When it’s needed, these practices become imperative to surviving disaster. Assign certain responsibilities to mature individuals.

For example, identify who will gather the financial documents, clothes, prescription drugs and/or sentimental valuables before the event. Make sure to practice and revise as needed.

5. Evaluate and update your homeowners insurance policy

It’s important to keep in mind that your homeowners insurance policy should provide coverage for future replacement cost. Most homeowners are under-insured and thus will not be able to rebuild their home as it exists today in the case of an accident.