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Homeowners Insurance Red FileEvery homeowner knows the risks that owning a home can bring. Your home could face any number of natural disasters, depending on your location. These might include floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires or earthquakes.

When disaster strikes, the first thing to consider is the safety of all family members. But it's also critical that you grab all the official documents in your home. These are items such as insurance policies, birth certificates, wills and bank documents.

If you were to lose these items, it could take weeks or months to get new copies. You'd also likely need to jump through a lot of hoops to prove your identity. That's why it's critical you add them to a "Red File" that is ready at a moment's notice.

Documents To Include In Your Red File

  • Birth, marriage and death certificates
  • Medical, dental and immunization records
  • Prescriptions
  • Licenses, passports and visas
  • Children's ID cards
  • Membership cards and papers
  • Military records
  • Adoption, foster care and custody papers
  • Work contracts
  • Copies of home inventories
  • Photocopies of credit and debit cards
  • Investment paperwork
  • Tax returns
  • Retirement plans and pension documents
  • Social Security information
  • Combinations to safe deposit boxes
  • Diplomas
  • Will and trust documents
  • USB drives with important digital files and photos
  • Copies of keys
  • Auto, life and home insurance papers
  • Mortgage records
  • Car records
  • Lists of emergency contacts and phone numbers
  • Lists of shelters and food sources to turn to in emergency situations
  • Cash
To create the Red File, get a 3 to 4 inch three ring binder and a packet of plastic sleeves to put the documents in. Dividers are helpful, but they're by no means necessary. For keys, USBs and cash, consider getting a zippered pencil case that fits inside binders. It will store those items neatly, and you won't have to worry about them falling out of the plastic sleeves.

Consider storing this file within a safe or fire-proof case. This case should be in an accessible, but not easily visible location. For extra security, make a second file to keep in your safe deposit box at the bank.

While you're updating your Red File, take a closer look at your home insurance policy. If you'd like to reevaluate your coverage, call Affordable Insurance Group at (803) 798-4499 for a free Columbia SC home insurance quote.
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