For the first time in my ten years of driving I wrecked my brand new Honda Fit last Wednesday. It was incredibly tragic; but in addition to watching my car crumble before my very eyes, the reality hit that this was only the first step of a very long process.

Filing an insurance claim is never an ideal situation. No matter whose fault it is, how good your coverage plan is, or how easy to work with your carrier it is, there is still a sort of guilt and shame in it all. At the end of the day I would have rather waited just a little bit longer at that stop sign to keep this whole mess from taking place.

The same holds true when filing an insurance claim on real estate properties. Understandably things will happen that are out of your control, but you would be amazed at how many claims could have been prevented entirely. Sometimes something as simple as installing an alarm system in vacant homes to avoid theft and unwanted squatters can make a big difference.

JJ Pawlowski with Kansas City Investor Funding LLC is serving as the title sponsor for the big Got Money? Need Money? Conference in Kansas City, Apr. 29-30. He is a very reputable member of the hard money lending and real estate investing community. I was able to spend a day with him and get his feedback on how insurance claims can simply be avoided. I even had the opportunity to go with him to look at a newly acquired property of his that had previously been badly broken into, and suffered theft to perhaps the worst degree possible.

Watch here as JJ walks us through the home, showing us the third degree damage, and what can happen if you do not take the time and effort to properly board up and lock up your vacant properties