Have an Inventory of Your Possessions When Disaster Strikes
A fire or similar home-wrecking disaster can strike your home at a moment’s notice. In the event of a catastrophe, nothing is more helpful than having a complete and thorough home inventory of your possessions. Without a list of your possessions, it can be quite difficult to get the full dollar amount of what you paid back from the insurance company. Despite this, over half of Americans do not have a home inventory.
Believe it or not – videotaping or photographing your home contents is an excellent way of preserving evidence of your home’s contents! Simply go room to room and video tape everything in it and narrate the items such as make model and serial number of electronics, descriptions of art or wall hangings and furniture stating where and when you purchased the item and for how much. You can also video receipts. Be sure to open drawers and record closest contents, even your refrigerator and freezer to estimate a food loss in the event you lose power. You will be surprised how much “stuff” you can be compensated for that you would not have remembered but for the video or photo.
Taking an inventory of your home is a very simple task and shouldn’t take long to complete. Many homeowners keep copies of their home inventories online or in fire/water proof safes or bank safety deposit boxes. There are several scenarios where keeping an inventory of your possessions may pay off in the long run.
- Burglary. In case of a burglary, items that are stolen from your home or damaged may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. In order for this to happen, you must have documentation proving that you did indeed own these items and the approximate monetary value. With many burglaries these days, high-value electronics such as TVs, DVD players, and gaming devices are generally targeted. Be sure to take down the serial number of these devices so that you can easily provide proof of purchase.
- Mold. Mold is capable of damaging upholstery, curtains, and even furniture. Your home may require fumigation, or even worse, certain items may need to be destroyed if they present a health hazard. Damage to your possessions due to mold usually falls under the terms of most homeowner’s insurance policies. Check your policy to determine of you have coverage for mold damage or if it must be purchased separately. You can use the money covered by your insurance to help finance the cost of fumigation or the replacement of furniture.
- Fire. In the event of a fire, a properly itemized list is critical when making an insurance claim. Fire by its nature destroys just about every trace of evidence available. The only way you or your insurance company can know how much you are able to recover from your loss is by having a detailed list of your possessions. Keeping a backup of your home inventory in a fire-proof safe or alternative location is a good idea in case of an emergency.
No matter what the emergency is, a home inventory can do wonders to keep your valuables safe and your peace of mind intact. Navigating some of the finer legal points of homeowner’s insurance policies can be difficult, so be sure to talk with an experienced insurance attorney at the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A. who understands the process and can explain what coverage you have, and what you need.
If you have any further questions about homeowner’s insurance and home inventories, contact the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne. P.A.