Roeder Smith Jadin, PLLC
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Complete your inventory before a disaster

This year, Minnesota has escaped summer without any large-scale tornados. A few twisters have touched down in parts of the state, including one that recently damaged buildings on Camp Ripley in the central section of the state, but there have been no significant tornados on the upper end of the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which is used to measure wind velocity and destructive power of these storms.

An EF-5, the most powerful tornado is what struck Joplin, Missouri in 2011, killing 158, injuring more than 1,100 and leaving behind total destruction calculated at $2.8 billion. Of course, even an EF-1 tornado can be devastating if it strikes your property or nearby. Having your roof torn off and the contents of your home exposed to weather could be nearly as devastating as total destruction.

Floods are even worse, and if there is any potential for your home to suffer flood damage you should consider the prospect of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. As the frequency of off the chart rainfall increases, you may be more exposed to flood danger than would appear from looking at 30-year flood patterns.

You need to be certain your policy is designed to fully replace your structure and its contents before a disaster occurs. If your policy lacks "replacement value" coverage, you may find compensation insufficient to replace your home.

You should also inventory the contents of your home, document those contents, especially expensive or valuable items, and store a copy of the inventory in a safe location, such as a safety deposit box. It does little good during a coverage dispute with an insurer if your household inventory and photos were destroyed in the disaster.


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