Archives For Disaster Planning

It’s easy and all-too-tempting to blame the government, the credit card companies, or maybe even your parents for your troubles. And those entities may play a role in the plight of a few. But many people fail – or pointedly refuse – to consider the part they played in creating their financial problems.

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Do You Know Your Stuff?

October 24, 2007

I was watching Fox Business News yesterday and one of the segments featured an interview with a lady from the Insurance Information Institute ( They were talking about the fires going on out in California and what people should do to help prepare themselves should they lose everything. One of the things the lady suggested was to use Know Your Stuff, which is a program that users can download FREE of charge. The program is designed to help users keep track of their belongings.

I think this is a great idea. Another great idea is to go through your house inch-by-inch with a video camera. The video can be used as a reminder of what exactly you had should you ever lose anything in a fire or some other disaster. Just be sure that you keep a copy of the video in your personal safe or safe deposit box.

Finally, one other thing the lady from III suggested was making sure your insurance is updated when you make a large purchase. Yes, it will mean an increase in your premium, but it will also mean that you’re covered.

I received the first draft of our homeowner’s insurance policy. Our premium went up to $1,823, a 19% increase over last year’s premium of $1,528. Oh, and they added a new 2% deductible for wind damage, which would put us on the hook for the first $4,652 in damages if our home received any wind damage.

My first, quick-tempered reaction was, “What the hell do I have insurance for?” I realize that’s an immature response but consider this:

I remember putting on an entire roof with architectural shingles just a few years ago for $200 less than that deductible! I’m sure that roofing materials have gone up in price since then but I’m not sure how much.

This is what stinks about insurance. We have been in our house 8 years, NEVER filed a claim, and yet our rates keep going up. Of course it doesn’t help that we live in an area that was hit particularly hard by the mold BS that happened several years ago. It also doesn’t help that we suffered a hurricane in 2005. Still, these rates seem a bit extreme especially when you consider the fact that our premium was around $850 per year not too many years ago.

My insurance agent is working on getting the limits of liability reduced, which should drop our premium and deductibles some (the deductible is a percentage of the limits of liability). I’ll let you know what the final premium is as soon as I find out.

UPDATE: I guess it could always be worse.

JLP’s Hurricane Plan

September 20, 2005

I moved to Texas in June of 1992. By September of that year, I had already experienced my first evacuation for Andrew (I think). At the time I was an employee of a grocery store. I remember the day that everyone was to evacuate was supposed to be my day off. I got called in to work. The store was a nuthouse. People were frantic, clearing off shelves and fighting over bottles of water. It was crazy. My canned good isle was decimated.
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