Some years pass us by with barely any fan fare, while others seem to drag, hitting every roadblock and misfortune along the way. 2017 is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Disregarding the long list of beloved celebrities who left us and ongoing civil upset around the world, the 12 months of 2017 will go down as doomed due to a nasty string of natural disasters.
Between the hurricanes destroying Puerto Rico before landing in the South, earthquakes in Mexico, and forest fires along the West Coast, drastic weather conditions gave a little perspective to our year, proving once again that disasters happen and they’re never good for our budgets.
Those little financial SNAFUs like when you forget to pay your cell phone bill or when you overdraw on your account pale in comparison. Whether the antagonist of your year (and check book) was wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or something else entirely, 2017 serves as a reminder that you need to be prepared in the face of disasters.
Get to know your insurance
There’s no two ways about it. If you own your home, you need homeowner’s insurance. While you can get specific coverages for particular disasters like floods or earthquakes, a basic policy covers the fundamentals. Unless you live in an area of the country prone to forest fires or you live in tornado alley, this basic coverage should suffice.
But don’t take our word for it. You need to read your policy carefully so you understand the full extent of the coverage and any gaps that may be missing.
Get insurance even if you rent
If you rent your apartment or home, you may not have to worry about the cost of restoring the building after a disaster strikes, but you are on the hook for damages to your personal belongings. You’ll also have to deal with a new place to live in case the structural damage to your apartment is significant.
Look into tenant’s or renter’s insurance if you don’t have it already. It’s an invaluable addition to your monthly budget, as it covers some or all of damage done to your belongings. It can also help cover expenses should the damage make your apartment uninhabitable, depending on your policy.
You can only take full advantage of your policy if you know exactly what you need to replace. Take the time one evening or free weekend to make a list of your belongings. Though you never want to have to use your home inventory, it’s an important document that can alleviate a lot of stress during an emergency. You’ll know what your insurance has to replace at a glance, so you don’t have to rely on your memory during a very traumatic moment in your life.
If you aren’t sure how to get started, CNET has created an easy guide to your first home inventory here.
Despite the important role it plays in your life, insurance isn’t always easy to accommodate in tight budgets. The addition of its monthly premiums may mean you’re living paycheck to paycheck. At this point you must make a decision: is the cost of your insurance worth the loss of any contributions you once made to savings? If you live in an area that faces natural disasters often, the immediate cost of the insurance is better than the cumulative cost of damages after the fact.
Without savings, being defenceless against other emergencies not covered by your insurance is a legitimate concern. You may not rate bills, vet care, repairs, and medication as distressing as major damages following a disaster, but these pose significant threats to your budget. When you live paycheck to paycheck, it’s almost impossible to cover these additions to your budget without help.
Help comes in a variety of ways. For some, it’s their friends and family lending money in times of need. For others, it’s direct online lenders like MoneyKey offering cash loans to cover these bills. You can visit MoneyKey.com for more information about personal loans to learn how they can help you recover from these difficulties without sacrificing your home insurance.
When faced with a financial emergency, cutting out home insurance from your budget should be your last resort. The coverage it affords in the face of natural disasters is too important to risk, especially when scientists expect these phenomena to occur more frequently as time goes on.
Try instead to find alternative savings by searching out ways to manage your money on a tight budget. You might find a way to recover cash without cancelling your insurance, remembering a fast cash loan can provide momentary relief in the face of other financial burdens like unexpected bills and repairs. When used responsibly, they can be a practical way to pay for your responsibilities and keep your insurance.
Hopefully, you won’t have to use it in the months to come, but it’s better safe than sorry. Confirm you have the policies you need and protect yourself from tragedy.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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