Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Didn't you ask?

Didn't you ask for advice? Are you sure? I could have sworn you did. Since we're experiencing some miscommunication, I'll just go on and give it anyway. Okay?

How many of you have nice things? You want me to define "nice things"? Well, it could be a nice painting, a big screen television, jewelry, furniture, etc. etc. Get the picture?

How many of you have house or renter's insurance? Please, don't tell me if you don't. Seriously. Take your butt out and get some immediately!!! Lord, it makes my heart beat all funny at the thought of someone not having renter's or house insurance.

When I teach Compass, I cover this topic briefly. Some of the ladies who attend are young and just starting their lives. This is a topic not normally thought about. I ask them could they guess what it would cost to replace everything in their home if it were destroyed? Could you? Think about it for a second. Salt and Pepper shakers don't magically appear. You buy them and forget about it. Dishes and silverware are another. Bedroom furniture. A chair to sit on. Don't even get started on the clothes! It gives them food for thought and I beg them to make sure they have insurance to cover such a thing.

Things happen. I can think of two families right now who's homes burned down and they lost everything. I know one of them didn't have insurance. What devastation that was. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

Let's say you got that insurance so Miss Hope feels all better. What now?

You need to know what you have!!! You need documentation, Internets!

In today's technology, the ability to keep tabs on what you have is so very easy. If you have a camera on your cell phone, start taking pictures. Did you know you can send pictures to your email address like you would a text message? You sure can. I do it all the time and save it to my computer. YET, I keep all those pictures in my email box as an extra safety precaution. Computers can crash. You will be able to access your email from anywhere. If you need to? Make an email address just for this. It is just so simple! If you have a regular camera? Pop that SD card in and load them to your computer. Email them to yourself!

I can not lie. Until yesterday, I had not practised what I preached. I had been meaning to take those pictures and get it out of the way. I know! How stupid of me! Living in Hurricane Alley should have made me more diligent with this stuff. It took me about an hour to take pictures with my cell phone and send them to my email. I took pictures of the computers, television, my Tiffany lamp, serial numbers on television and computers. I took pictures of my Cadillac washer and dryer! I'd surely want those bad boys replaced with equal machines. I have a Charleston print that is very special to me, plus the HUGE magnolia picture over my couch. I haven't done my jewelry yet, but that's coming. I felt such a relief when that was done because it's just so important. I am going to be 38 (gasp!) this year. I've had a little time to get a few nice things since I left home at age 19. I don't have a house full, but there are some I'd hate to pay to replace.

You owe it to yourself to do this small thing. Who cares if the house isn't clean or straight? If something happens and you need to prove what you had? That mess showing in the picture might have something else you can count!

Can't you just see my enthusiasm here? There is no excuse for you not to do this.

Mercy, almost forgot! Be sure to take pictures of your gaming systems. We keep our games in a drawer under the television. I opened the drawer and snapped a quick picture to prove we had games. While some insurances will cut a check and be done, some others will want proof of certain things. Why not just be safe about it?

There's my freely offered advice on a big Wednesday morning. It may not be worth much to some and priceless to others.

If you have any other tips/advice concerning this, please add! I love good advice that will help me out in the long run.


Neighbor Debbie said...

Dont forget that if you have crystal or fine china you need the brand and how many pieces of each you have. I know I need to update my stuff especially my jewelery.. ya know how much of a jewelery hoochie I am lately lol

Monogram Queen said...

Honey I needed this kick-in-the-pants today!
Ask me next Monday if I did it ok? (yes i'm older than you, lazy as hell and must be babysat!) LOL

Busy Texas Dee said...

Don't forget any tools, hammers, pliers, POWER TOOLS (my favorate) etc. Believe me with all we have going on here I have all the tools documented. We just had a neighbor loose the house and shed in a fire over the weekend. I didn't find out about it until yesterday because I was gone all weekend but I did go by to see and what devistation. Everything lost. Don't know if they had insurance or not. Don't know the people but I still feel bad for them.

Roni said...

As a former insurance agent I will say that SOME hight dollar items will need a separate policy. Please please check with your agent to see if you need one because a lot of people have a homeowners policy & think that their 3 top of the line Nikon cameras and the wifes 4 diamond rings will be covered and a lot of time it wont due to limits. So ALWAYS check with your agent what your limits are and determine weather or not you have enough. I have a separate policy with all my cameras and computers on it. My regular H.O. policy wont cover to totally replace those, it is a limit issue.

Miss Hope said...

Thanks, Roni! Excellant advice and much appreciated. I know we have a separate policy for electronics...if they are broken, stolen or damaged, they'll be replaced. Is that what you meant by separate policy?

Miss Hope said...

Let me clarify..not sure if it's a separate policy or a something we pay "extra" for. Will have The Man check and see!

Karen said...

You should also try to keep all manuals/ receits for big ticket items such as TV's, washing machine, dryer, furniture, computer's, etc. Get a fire proof safe/box, keep them in there. Fire proof safes/boxes range in sizes and prices. It's a good investment. Then, you could also print out pics of your items and staple the picture with the receit/manual and keep them in the safe/box. I am in the process of doing this.

Denise said...

Excellent advice! Thank you for reminding me to do this. I took a video of my old house, walking through the rooms and filming everything. But it's useless now because, hello, different house, different stuff. I really need to do this again. You rock!

Mellie said...

now that we have all our things from California storage, we need to do this again. One thing that is standard on our USAA policy but wasn't with our last insurance was GUARANTEED REPLACEMENT..dear gosh, that's some peace of mind for ya there - spend the extra bucks for it, you'll be glad.
But for you people there in hurricane happyland, here's a quick one for you if you ever have to evacuate. Snap a quick photo of the contents of your fridge, freezer and pantry right before you leave. We lost power for four days once in KB and the insurance covered the cost of replacing the food in the freezer - bless their hearts!

Anonymous said...

Lawdy merchy, Miss Hope!!! Insurance? INDEED! That's always been priority one in this household but now that I'm thinking about it, I really do need to update the photo files. I think our insurance adjustment for the moment is just set at an XX amount but definitely wouldn't cover all the "new" we've brought in since retirement. Thank you for your unsolicited advise! It was great talking to you today by the way. Will be talking again in the near future, of this I am certain. :)

AndreaLeigh said...

great advice, and one I need to follow. I have good insurance (knock on wood that I won't need it) but it would be helpful to have a list and some documentation.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

I hear you loud and clear. And I agree. But, in the end, its only stuff. I never used to feel this way. But nowadays... I don't know. Truck, wedding bands, engagement diamond, guitar... I have some stuff I cherish but let me tell you about auntie Mab. Mab is a tough old girl who lives as simply as possible. Her husband bought a brand new Dodge Ram a few years ago. Fully loaded. $55G I think. Too much for me anyway. His health began to fail. He couldn't work. He was so worried about losing this truck, he tried to get me to hire him. I talked to Mab, she said, "don't worry. He needs to rest, not work. Its only things. I had lots of things. Only one him. We don't need it."

I think I began to change that day. I didn't hire him, he lost his truck, he passed away last summer. But for some reason, Mab still thanks me.

Bonita said...

don't worry we got renters insurance!

Lishak said...

We also have renter's insurance and a separate policy for my wedding rings and laptops.
I need to photo document though. It's one of those things you figure you'll get around to, but then you get distracted! I also have been meaning to photocopy all the contents of mine and Greg's wallets. That's another thing that's nice to have. :)

Michelle said...

Dang...I've been on your site for an hour trying to catch up! I read another post like this one last year and did the same's always good to have back-up!

Love all the pictures and thanks for the award...I guess I'll try to stay caught up from now on!