Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Save money after a flood

Remember the emergency fund I'm always talking about, well if you have been affected by a flood recently this may be the time to use it -  wisely. After an emergency situation the goal for many is to get back to normal as quickly as possible, but that should not mean doing things in haste and wasting money. For anyone dealing with flood damage to their home or property there are a few things you should do right now to save money and time.


Make a list
Draft up an itemized list of what was damaged, destroyed or lost. Include where possible, the value of the items and any receipts. This list will be very helpful when your insurance company asks you the total cost of the damages to your property.

Take lots of pictures
Try to photograph all the damage and from many angles. Also take into account the outside of your home where the water may have entered. All of this will paint a better picture for anyone granting compensation and deciding on insurance payouts.

Talk to neighbors
The people who live around you have probably been similarly affected and they may be aware of resources you aren’t. Talk to them about what they are doing in their recovery efforts and whom they have been able to get to help them.

Call your insurance company
As soon as possible, talk to your insurance company about the next steps you need to take. Find out if flood damage is covered and to what extent. Verify what your deductible is to make sure the insurance claim is worth it. For example if you need to replace a carpet but you deductible is about $1000 you may opt to just pay for it on your own.

Get in touch with city officials
No matter where you live there are hotlines that the city has set up for flood victims to call to get support and advice they may need. In both Calgary and the GTA call 3-1-1 to get up to date information on what is happening in your area and what relief may be available to you.

Use your emergency fund money
The goal after any emergency is to try to be as resourceful as possible so you don’t waste your money. In the case of a flood some people tend to panic and forget that all the costs they are taking on is money out of their pocket and could keep them in debt for the long term.  This is a good time to use your emergency fund to get back on your feet, but don’t waste the money saved as it can be put away for the next unforeseen event that affects your life.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, start one today.

Build your rainy day fund
  • Calculate how much money you need every month to live. Rent/mortgage, utilities, cable/phone/Internet, transportation (make this list exhaustive).
  • Make sure you have enough money in cash to cover 6 months of expense.
  • Start by saving 15 per cent of each pay check until you reach your goal. 

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