If you had to make a content insurance claim tomorrow, would you be ready? For most homeowners, the answer is a resounding “no.”
Winter is an especially risky time for homes. Fire risks are generally higher than in other seasons, while inclement weather increases the risk of burst pipes and water damage (and when temperatures start to thaw, sewage backups).
These can all lead to an expensive insurance claim, part of which should cover lost or damaged belongings. Sometimes, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to identify everything that you’ve lost. Nevertheless, in order to receive money from your insurer to replace those belongings, you will have to identify them. It also helps to know where and when you purchased the item and how much you paid.
An insurance lawyer can help you with your contents insurance claim and review the insurer’s offer. The documentation is extensive. Each belonging is individually assessed, and it can be quite the task to comb through it. However, you’re more likely to receive an offer that’s fair when you provide the insurance adjuster with a detailed, complete Schedule of Loss – an inventory of all the belongings lost or damaged.
What Is a Home Inventory?
A home inventory is a complete list of all the belongings in your home and their estimated value. If you ever have to make a claim, having one will make the process much easier. It can also help you make sure you have enough insurance in the first place, as you’ll be able to quickly tally up the total value.
5 Steps to Create a Home Inventory
The New Year is a great opportunity to make a home inventory if you don’t already have one. These five steps will make it quick and easy.
#1 Use Software or an App
There are plenty of home inventory apps you can use to get started. Going digital is a smart move. You should keep your inventory on the cloud or somewhere you can always retrieve, even if you experience a total loss. An app will also help you keep your inventory up-to-date, and some allow you to take photos.
#2 Go Room to Room
Creating a list of everything you own can feel like a daunting task at first. You can tackle it room by room for the sake of simplicity.
#3 Keep Receipts
Receipts will make it easy to keep track of the financial value of your belongings, and they can be instrumental when you make a claim. Create a folder or binder where you can physically store them and take photos if you want to keep a digital record.
#4 Take Photos or Video of the Property
It’s easy to forget something, but if you have photos or video footage of your property, it will be easier to piece everything together in the wake of a loss.
#5 Keep Track of Valuables
Not all belongings are treated equally by your insurer, and some valuables like jewelry or art will have separate limits. You’ll want to keep more detailed documentation of more expensive goods.
This New Year, make sure you’re prepared for anything. Making a home inventory will help prepare you for the worst.