Stuff happens. Computers and Venti Iced Teas collide with disastrous results. Your neighbor burns the bacon and ends up flooding his floor (and your ceiling). Between bar #1 and your best friend’s futon, your credit card ends up somewhere in between. If you are living with low-key anxiety about what could happen and aren’t sure how to shore up your life, read on. From tackling big insurance questions like “how much coverage do I need and what do I need covered” to making sure you have secured your belongings, a few quick actions today could safeguard your space and your sanity.
The best insurance against disaster is exactly that, getting insurance. Take an assessment of your life- what is important to you and could use a bit of extra security? A few areas to start is renter’s insurance, car insurance and protecting the most important of all, your family, should something happen. If your employer doesn’t offer you life insurance with your benefits package, you might need to source some yourself. I recommend getting your insurance squared away as quickly as possible and reassessed every two years.
Renters insurance can be under $10 a month and protects you from a myriad of problems: flooding, theft, fire and all kinds of other potential mishaps. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll likely be required through your mortgage lender to secure homeowner’s insurance, but if you’re renting, you really should spend some time insuring your stuff. As a renter myself again, I love that I don’t have to worry about mowing the lawn or fixing the roof- but I do have to worry if my neighbor leaves a candle burning unattended and my portion of the building being damaged by smoke, fire or flooding from the sprinkler system. A good policy should protect your stuff but can also help you with accommodations should you need to find temporary housing after a disaster.
I also personally have term life insurance. Term life insurance will help protect your family in the event you pass away unexpectedly and finding term life insurance quotes online is stupid fast to help price out options for your desired level of coverage. According to Bankrate.com, the cost of an average funeral in Texas where I live is $6,933. Term life insurance doesn’t just cover your funeral expenses, it also could be essential for survival if anyone is depending on you for survival. Any dependents, including children or elderly parents or a spouse may need help sustaining a living in the event you aren’t around anymore. For around $35 a month, I am putting money aside that can be reclaimed later if not used if something happens. I know you can get cheaper payments and different rates but for my needs this worked out!
Take a few minutes to evaluate if you have enough insurance, of if the insurance you currently have is giving you enough protection for the best price. Give a quick call to your institution to do a check in and see if you can get a deal.
So your home, car and life are insured. What happens next? Well in the event of a disaster you’re going to want to have a list handy of all items that need replacing. Take stock of everything you have that could be useful in case of an insurance claim, plus all of your crucial financial information and contact numbers in one handy (and locked) computer file. Your inventory file should include not only what you own and when it was purchased, but any important phone numbers to call and serial numbers or VIN numbers for the items you own.
Taking a few quick photos of your apartment or home can also be hugely helpful. In the event of a fire or theft, you might be panicked- and honestly, who remembers everything they have in their drawers and bookshelf? In the midst of a personal crisis, trying to remember all the little electronics, jewelry and technology you have laying around your home can be an added stressor. Keeping an up to date list will take out the guesswork and mean that you can work with law enforcement and insurance companies swiftly.
Now that you have your awesome inventory on a computer file, where to store it in case something happens to your computer? I have everything backed up on both an external hard drive and on Dropbox.com. You can get an external hard drive for $45 or less, and it will hold all of your music and pictures. I personally use Dropbox for my documents as it saves automatically and syncs with my computer as I save new documents.
Google drive, mentioned earlier, is the absolute easiest and can be accessed from anywhere including your phone, should you need it. You can easily send a Google Drive link to important contacts to have in their email inbox as well. The cloud is truly a game changer and takes away the fear that in the event of a physical disaster, your hard copy or the computer you usually use to access it, is no more.
I know there’s something I’ve left out. If there’s anything you’ve done to secure yourself that made you think “Hot damn I’m smart,” please feel free to share so I can bask in your glory and prevent my own self-imposed disasters.