Do you have an in-case-of-emergency file?

Ok, nobody likes admin, but actually having one of these kits could save you a lot of time and effort in the future.

Having an in-case-of-emergency file is something we should all consider doing because it’s actually a really practical way to keep important information when you want to access it quickly. Say you are abroad and you need someone to access insurance documents for your car, home or pet while you are away, or you need a relative to help access your bank details for you. If everything is in one place it makes things so much easier to locate quickly. 

Keeping these details safe and protected is crucial, so it’s worth keeping a hard copy of your in-case-of-emergency file in a safe deposit box to protect it from theft, fire and water damage. Then you can keep a digital copy for yourself on a USB stick protected with a password and update as and when you need to. Just make sure to update your hard copies in the safe deposit box every now and again if details change.

We’ve put together some basic steps how to create a master file for all your important details…

1: Create a basic spreadsheet so you can record all the info in this document. You can organise it how you want to and according to your own priorities, but here is a helpful template to get you going.

2: Identify your most important and personal documents such as birth certificates, passports and other official, hard-to-replace documents. Scan these items so you have a digital record of them and create hard copies by printing them off to go in your master file – if you don’t have a scanner take a photo of each of them and print off the photos.

3: Record all your contact information in the spreadsheet including your nearest relatives, your will executor(s) and employers. Include information in labelled tabs about:

Will and medical directives: Add a copy of your will/living trust and medical letter of instructions (keep the originals with your legal representative).
Insurance: Homeowners, car, medical, life and other insurance agents/brokers contact info and policy numbers
Financial accounts: Bank, investment, and credit card/loan accounts information, including institution names, phone numbers and account numbers
Health records: Immunisation records, allergies, dietary restrictions, medications, medical/surgical treatments
Pet information: Description of each pet, vet contact information and any important medical notes
Property: Mortgage papers/deeds and details of valuable items in your home.

4: Tell your emergency contacts about your in-case-of-emergency file and where they can access the information should they ever need to.

5. Regularly update your file as and when you need to.

The great thing about having a secure safe deposit box at Cardiff Safe Deposit is that you can designate another key holder when you register your box, so it’s good to think about who would most likely be the person you would need to access the contents if there was an emergency.

One of our mid-range boxes is ideal for papers, house deeds and other important documents. Find out more about how to rent one here: