It has been a wild couple of weeks for residents on the eastern seaboard, particularly for many of us here at Enservio Headquarters in the Boston area. We recently experienced a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that shook the earth, homes and offices all up and down the east coast. Then came Hurricane Irene which caused flooding and power outages in homes and businesses due to torrential rains and storm surges.
Hurricanes are a fact of life for east coast residents, but earthquakes and cyclones on the scale of Irene are rare. As Hurricane Irene barreled toward us, news reports were chock full of tips for preparing for potential losses.
High net worth individuals with coastal homes in the Hamptons and art collectors and gallery owners in lower Manhattan concerned about potential flooding found themselves caught off guard with little guidance as to how to best protect their rare and fine art collections. Here at Enservio our Collector Services division offers cataloguing and valuation services to help high net worth individuals proactively protect their investments. A recent article that appeared in the Reuters Money Blog provides useful advice from experts at Chubb, Chartis and ACE Private Risk Services on how to prepare for natural disasters. For example, you may have the urge to take your most valuable items with you when evacuating, but in many cases the chances of causing damage are higher if you transport fragile items without the proper care and preparation. Instead, you should move fragile and highly valuable items to the interior of your home and put them as high up as possible to avoid water damage.
High net worth individuals should also take extra steps beyond buying extra batteries and water. Investing in a generator that is fueled through a gas line is highly recommended by Bob Courtemanche of ACE Risk Management Services. Such a generator would help ensure that sump pumps and refrigeration systems keep running even in the event of a power outage. Wine connoisseurs should keep in mind that an expensive wine collection could be completely destroyed by severe temperature changes due to a power outage.
Whether you consider yourself “high net worth” or not, chances are you have valuable items that could be better protected by preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.