Who could forget the scenes of devastation as hundreds of California homes burned to the ground by wildfires? Imagine for a moment driving up to your home and finding everything gone: house, furnishing, computers, files, safe… maybe even your wallet and cell phone.
The good news: if you have enough insurance from a quality carrier you’re likely to eventually get all your possessions replaced.
The bad news: unless you’ve done some effective personal disaster recovery planning, your next year could be a nightmare of administrative hassle. For example, in this age of identity theft, imagine the warm reception you’ll get from your financial institution when you explain you’ve lost your ID, account number and password, but would like access to your account immediately. Multiply that by about 50.
My friend and client Cathe Dyer of Indian Wells suggested a great solution and it’s free: a Vital Data Map, or what I call hassle insurance. Here’s our version of the map, available for download:
You populate it with copies of your documents in a three-ring binder along with a CD or flash stick of your PC hard drive back-up and video of your possessions. Then store it offsite in a safe deposit box or in a sealed container with a trusted family member or friend.
It’s obvious the Vital Data Map will be very helpful in reconstructing one’s life in the event of a disaster. And even people who believe a fire won’t happen to them don’t believe they will live forever. The Vital Data Map is not only good for personal disaster recovery, it’s also a great estate planning tool. After all, you want to pass on the remainder of your life’s work to those you most care about… you don’t want to stick those same people with the big hassle of unraveling your maze of contacts, accounts and passwords.
Speaking of estate planning, I continue to find clients who ask me if I handle life insurance. So just to clarify, Desert Insurance Solutions is a comprehensive insurance broker. That means we have the expertise and carrier contacts to offer virtually every type of insurance for every type of family, professional, group and business (except Fortune 500 type companies).
So consider completing the Vital Data Map for your family, and feel free to call me about any of your insurance needs, including life insurance.
This site is informational and not a substitute for professional advice. Insurance coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued.