Your home is full of precious goods, but when it comes to comprehensive protection, one area that homeowners sometimes ignore is the storage of crucial documents. In fact, according to the National Research Center for Consumer Reports, one out of every four Americans has misplaced a critical financial document.
It’s critical to keep the documents you need to prove your identity, property ownership, and financial assets safe… and that doesn’t mean storing them away in a filing cabinet or stacking them on your desk. While you should save digital copies of IDs and tax forms on your computer, a paper copy should be kept in case the digital version is accidently erased or your computer fails.
In the event of identity theft, fire, or a break-in, certain documents should be kept in an extremely secure location, such as a fireproof safe. These are the files that must be included.
Paperwork That Is Easily Accessible
You need to preserve your passport, social security card, and tax information from fires and theft, but putting them in a safe-deposit box prevents immediate access. Items that you may need to look at or use at any time should be kept in a convenient and secure location. A fire-resistant home safe is the ideal solution to this issue.
The majority of experts advise keeping copies of important documents in a home safe. Here are some instances of such documents:
- Driver’s license
- Medical records
- Information on taxes
- Difficult-to-Replace Documents: Social Security Cards
Documents That Are Difficult To Replace
In your fireproof home safe, you could keep important objects such as family photographs and/or papers with sentimental value. Other documents that would be difficult to replace due to the lengthy paperwork processes required could be stored in your home safe.
For example, you’ll need your social security number to seek a job, collect benefits, and receive services from numerous government agencies, and getting it replaced takes a long time and work. Your fireproof safe can secure your social security card in the case of a fire or theft, allowing you to access it immediately.
A fireproof safe can keep your documents safe from both burglary and natural calamities such as fire. After a sudden emergency, having materials on hand that you may use to begin reconstructing your life – all without having to travel to your safe-deposit box – can be extremely beneficial. Insurance information and contact numbers may be included in emergency documents, which you will need to pick up the pieces after a house fire.
It’s also a good idea to have information regarding healthcare, legal documents, living wills, and proxies on hand in case of an emergency. These goods may be necessary in an emergency, and having them safely stowed in your house might save you time.
Cash and Resources
There are differing views on whether cash should be kept in a house safe. Cash is safer in a bank than at home in most cases, but that doesn’t mean having some rainy-day savings on hand isn’t a smart idea. A fireproof safe can be used to keep emergency cash so that you can get it fast when you need it.
You could need money to stay in a hotel after a house fire. Money kept in a secure home safe would provide immediate access to cash.
It’s also a good idea to keep documents related to money, such as information about the worth of your home or insurance, checks, and other important resources that can help you recover faster after an emergency.
Other Important Documents
You can keep a variety of other vital documents in a fireproof safe at home. After all, keeping these goods in your own home allows you to access them more quickly and without fear of losing them. The contents of your safe will be covered by your home insurance, providing you added piece of mind.
Other important documents to maintain in a safe place at home include:
- Your home’s and vehicle’s deeds and titles
- Retirement documents, investment documents, and contact information
- Certificates of Birth
- Photos of your home that can be used as proof in an insurance claim
- Information on unpaid debts
- Living trusts
- Pay stub and other important financial account information documents
While a bank can certainly help preserve your possessions, it’s often a good idea to retain some of your most critical documents at home – as long as you have the appropriate tools to do so.