How Would You Document Your Losses After a Catastrophe?
It’s the one thing that every person who has been through a fire, flood, tornado hurricane or other major disaster wish they had. Every firefighter and first responder says that a home inventory is the most important thing a household can do to plan for a total loss. To expedite your insurance payouts after damage or disaster you will need to provide proof of what you owned and what your personal effects are worth.
A home inventory is a list of what you own, which can include both paper and digital records including photos or video for added security. A comprehensive home inventory lists your belongings including make, model and serial number, when applicable, value and date acquired. Home inventory checklists can be downloaded online from the big home insurance company websites. A visual record of photos and a video walk through of your home is proof of ownership, and particularly important for more valuable items or things that would be hard to replace, such as art and antiques.
It’s important to thoroughly document your belongings to help the claims process, should you have a loss. That will mean pulling items out of storage, if necessary, so this is a good task to plan along with your spring cleaning or when decluttering. Keep documentation like receipts, credit card statements, appraisals or other types of valuation documents together with your list, and make sure to update it as you acquire or get rid of items over time. Keep your inventory safe. Make a duplicate and store it somewhere off your property, such as a bank safe, deposit box or other secure location.