In the insurance industry, as well as in the Boy Scouts of America organization, the motto is  "Be Prepared". And honestly when talking about insurance, the following statements are true:

  • The time to prepare for a possible insurance claim is long before the accident occurs.
  • The time to get ready for impending storm is before the first flake or drop falls.
  • The time to inventory your luxury items, jewelry and collectibles is before someone breaks into your home.

But most of us are so over extended time-wise:

  • That finding a moment to file sales receipts and appraisals, take photographs and record everything in a notebook or on computer can be daunting.
  • That preparing  for an upcoming storm or natural disaster is done on the fly with the minutes counting down.
  • That planning for a "possible" issue with your car, is almost impossible and handled as you are standing on the side of the highway searching for help.

Step in "Modern Technology".  The insurance industry and other entities understand how hard it can be to organize and have developed tools that you can use to "prepare" and keep yourself safe. So I thought it would be a perfect time to compile a list of some of 5 of the best FREE or low-cost  Insurance-related apps that you can download onto your phone or computer.

In insurance, spending 15 minutes organizing yourself up front, will save you endless hours of time, energy and heart-ache on the back end.

  • FEMA MOBILE APP - This free download to your Apple I-Phone or Android, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, supplies tips to survive natural disasters; provides emergency checklists to help you prepare before a disaster occurs and flags relief centers and meeting locations. You will receive alerts from the National Weather Service, be able to locate shelters and disaster recovery stations and even apply for assistance if you qualify for and need aid. To download app, go to: https: www.fema.gov
  • KNOW YOUR STUFF - This free online inventory service from the Insurance Information Institute can be easily download to your phone.This application makes creating and updating your home inventory easy and efficient. And with secure online storage you will have access to your household inventory anywhere, any time. You never know when a disaster may strike, but you can be prepared with an up-to-date home inventory with this indispensable app.  www.knowyourstuff.org
  • AAA ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE - AAA Mobile combines maps, directions and roadside assistance features along with discount information all into one app. . AAA Insurance helps you gather the necessary information in case of an accident and allows you to request a tow truck using your iPhone’s GPS locator. www.ny.aaa.com
  • WAZE - Waze is "the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute." And I can attest, once you use WAZE you will never want to leave home without checking it. It has saved me hours of commuting time on highways. www.waze.com
  • GAS BUDDY - (Cost: less than $5 for I-Phones) When used properly saves you big at the pump. Gas Buddy uses up-to-date prices that have been added by users searching for the best prices. It also breaks out stations that offer diesel fuel or have extras like car washes and ATMs. www.gasbuddy.com

An additional suggestion would be to check with your individual insurance carrier. Many, such as Travelers, have excellent free software and apps available to their clients that link to their individual insurance policies (which makes everything much easier when filing a claim.)