Saving up for an asset such as a car, home, or even jewelry takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and commitment. Paying off a loan on your vehicle, putting thousands into your home, and waiting years for equity to build upon a home can all help your financial situation and make you a pretty penny. It can, therefore, be very traumatic and heartbreaking to have damage happen to your beloved assets, and have to deal with the costs that come along with it. Though sometimes damage to assets are unavoidable, such as in accidents, robberies, or weather conditions causing damage, it’s important to consider using asset protection tips during everyday life in order to ensure that your belongings are safe, sound, and won’t end up ruining you financially.
What Is an Asset?
When most people think of assets, they might be thinking fancy cars, yachts, big mansions and huge checking and savings accounts. While all these are certainly considered assets, assets don’t have to be incredibly expensive in order to be counted as valuable. For instance, if you have a laptop, a gaming system, or even some jewelry lying around, these can all be considered assets and should be well taken care of.
However, the two most important assets to consider are your home and vehicle. Without both of these, you might end up financially insecure, paying off thousands in repairs, and rather inconvenienced. In a worst case scenario, you might even end up needing the help of a bankruptcy attorney to get you out of debt. But, not to worry. Simple asset protection tips can help you protect what’s yours, and save you the headache later on of having to deal with repairs, replacement, and sky-high insurance costs. With these 15 asset protection tips, you can rest easy knowing you’re doing everything in your power to protect out home and auto assets.
1. Have Insurance
One of the most important asset protection tips involves having insurance for your car and home before any sort of damage occurs. Insurance can vary according to state laws, but in general vehicle insurance must include protection from moving accidents, as well as insurance while a vehicle is being stored. Mortgage and home insurance can also vary, but it’s important to consider your area. For instance, if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, fires, flooding, or even tsunamis and earthquakes, none of these are too far-fetched to seek protection from. It’s crucial to prepare for any and all situations that might require insurance. For both your home and auto, an insurance carrier could mean the difference between bankruptcy, homelessness, and having a functioning vehicle.
2. Do Regular Home Maintenance
While having insurance is important, so is doing regular maintenance on your home in order to ensure it is safe and not prone to even more damage from inclement weather. For instance, maintaining your HVAC system, ensuring all windows and doors are properly sealed, and even conducting maintenance on your basement and home’s foundation are all great asset protection tips for your home. Without doing regular maintenance, you’re almost guaranteed problems will arise later on. Such problems, including with sewage, plumbing, and other structural issues, will not only pose a threat to you, but make it extremely difficult to sell your home to a new homebuyer. Don’t wait until issues get out of hand to conduct maintenance. Your home is an essential asset, and treating it with care is a good way to ensure you get a good return on investment.
3. Do Regular Car Maintenance
Like caring for a home, performing regular care maintenance on your vehicle is also important to ensure your safety, security, and as a general part of your asset protection tips. A vehicle can be a valuable piece of property when well-maintained, and even older models can sell for thousands of dollars if properly cared for. However, when you fail to do even the most basic maintenance on a vehicle, such as oil repairs, transmission flushes, filter replacements, and everything in between, problems can soon arise. Unlike an accident, insurance will not cover the cost of these maintenance repairs. Take care of all issues, such as dent repair, beforehand, in order to allow your car to keep its value and be a great asset to own.
4. Save Up for Roofing Repairs
One of the most expensive issues you can face as a homeowner can be damages to your residential roofing. Missing shingles, hail, heat-damaged roof, and poor insulation can all lead you to have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on roof repairs. It’s important to be prepared for this, and start saving up enough money to conduct repairs. However, if you’re looking to buy a home as a first-time buyer, and notice roofing issues, make sure to put this in your closing contract and have the original homeowner pay for these repairs. This can save you thousands in cash and valuable time. In addition, contact your local residential roofing repair services and get a good quote on repairs before settling on a contractor.
5. Leave Nothing Valuable Unlocked
Whether in your car or in your home, it’s important to never leave any valuables out in the open for possible burglars to take. For instance, in a vehicle, it’s never a good idea to leave valuables such as purses and electronics out in the open. However, using a car’s glove box that is able to be locked can be a great place to put important documents such as registration, insurance, and other identifying information you must keep in your vehicle at all times. For other valuables, it’s important to take them with you and keep them in a combination safe if possible. Birth certificates, social security cards, jewels and extra cash can all be targets for robberies, so hiding them in a safe in your home can help you sleep better knowing you’re protecting these assets as well.
6. Drive Defensively
Following asset protection tips don’t just have to protect your valuables, but can also protect you as well. Driving defensively on the road can help keep not only your vehicle safe, but also you while driving in it. Unfortunately, with the advent of cell phones, more and more people being busy and stressed, distractions are at an all time high along with accidents. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year, and nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year due to people texting while driving. Because of this, it’s important to drive defensively and be aware of other people’s body and car language while getting on the road.
7. Update Security Systems
Both cars and homes should have updated security systems at all times. This is especially true if you own a home or vehicle in a neighborhood prone to crime. Alarm systems can be pricey to install, however, using them and keeping them up to date is one of the best asset protection tips you can follow. Security systems for your home can include services such as RING, SimpliSafe, and ADT that all need routine maintenance in order to be working properly. Your car alarm system should also be routinely inspected. This is especially true if you have a newer vehicle such as a Tesla that can be prone to security breaches.
8. Don’t Post on Social Media
Though it’s very tempting to post on social media about your new assets, leaving on vacation, and your location at all times, this is highly dangerous and important to avoid. Future burglars can now see that your home is unattended, where your vehicle is stored, and possibly have plans to hurt you if they know your location. Though you might think that avoiding social media isn’t a viable asset protection tips, consider this: the firm Credit Sesame interviewed 50 ex-burglars in England and discovered 80 percent of the robbers used Facebook, Twitter, Google Street view, and Foursquare! Be aware of this next time you plan to post your assets on social media.
9. Have an Emergency Plan
It’s important to have an emergency plan in place should the worst come to happen. In the event that your assets do become the subject of a burglary while you’re in them, always protect yourself before protecting your assets. None of these asset protection tips mean anything without your safety! Having firearm training, an escape plan in your home or vehicle, and knowing who to contact can all save your life in the event of an emergency or crime.
10. Use Dash-Cams
Protect your assets by protecting and proving your innocence in case of an accident! Scams to collect on insurance or a dime a dozen, and because of this it’s important to protect your assets by installing a dash-cam to help you out. A dash-cam can prove to insurance carriers, attorneys, and even police that you are not at fault for an accident. This can help prevent you from having to pay thousands in insurance costs, settlements, and medical bills for the other party.
11. Fix Car Issues Right Away
One of the best asset protection tips you can also follow is fixing issues in your vehicle right away. Issues that turn mechanical can quickly depreciate the value of your vehicle and can prove costly to you as well. For instance, hearing squeaky brakes can be as simple as replacing your brake pads, or turn into replacing your brake pads and your rotors. Any issue that arises with your vehicle, it’s important to fix it right away in order to not have it turn into a more expensive issue.
12. Consider Renovations for Your Home
Home buyers are inclined to spend an extra 2,000 dollars on a home if it is furnished with hard wood flooring, showing just how simple it can be to increase the value of your home assets. Protecting the value of your home can be as simple as looking for construction equipment for sale, finding an affordable contractor, and doing simple renovations to increase your home’s value. Stay creative, up-to-date on trends, and consider doing renovations on your kitchen, bathroom, and living areas to make your home more modern, desirable, and valuable.
13. GPS Tracking
Installing GPS tracking onto your vehicle, motorcycle, and other movable valuables such as an RV or Trailer can prove to be a saving grace and one of the best asset protection tips to help you in case of theft. Nowadays, more people are stealing cars and mobile homes and using them for parts as opposed for simple joyrides. This makes it very difficult to track down a vehicle once it is stolen. Ensure you save yourself the headache of dealing with a stolen vehicle, and protect your mobile assets by low-jacking or installing GPS tracking on them ahead of time.
14. Secure Your Garage
Valuable items can be stored in your garage. From your carpentry projects, to your vehicle, boats and AV’s, it’s important to maintain and utilize a garage door service to keep your valuables safe. Maintaining your garage can help save you thousands to replace stolen items from your garage, and if you do work on old cars or custom projects, the time it took to work on your projects.
15. Save Up for Incidentals
Having money for incidentals is one of the best asset protection tips you can follow. Whether it’s for a pest exterminator, faulty wiring, an engine replacement, or anything else, saving money for any problems that arise can help you continue to maintain and protect your assets, all the while saving you from getting into debt with a personal or payday loan. Money for incidentals can be the difference between having an asset that’s well-maintained and valuable, or being subject to a loan with sky-high interest that’s difficult to pay down.