Make plans to protect financial documents


When a storm approaches, most people head to the store to stock up on food, water, batteries and supplies to safeguard their home.

Should a storm occur, however, it’s important for area residents to remember to protect important financial documents – especially if they should be forced to evacuate or the home should sustain significant damage.

As hurricane season begins, the Florida Department of Financial Services says now is the time to put together a packet of important financial and insurance information. Once the information is compiled, residents should keep it in a safe and easily accessible place in their home so they can take it with them should they need to leave home in a hurry.

“In the aftermath of a hurricane or other emergency, you shouldn’t have to worry about searching for account information or trying to remember the details of all your possessions,” state CFO Jeff Atwater said. “Luckily, emergency financial documents are among the easiest things to prepare, ensuring you have everything you need readily available.”

To assist residents in compiling their key financial information, Atwater added, the Department of Financial Services offers a free “Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit.” Should a storm occur, homeowners could simply grab their toolkit document rather than scrambling to collect copies of multiple documents to bring with them.Available online at, the document provides places to record all your key financial and insurance details, including bank account numbers, mortgage information, auto insurance details and more. The guide’s section for life and health insurance, meanwhile, includes a place to staple copies of insurance cards should a claim need to be filed.

“Having these documents put together ahead of time allows you to have ready access to all of the information necessary to file an insurance claim, whatever your situation may be,” Atwater said.