Homeowner's Insurance (3/4): Property Inventory

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Preparing A Property Inventory & Keeping Your Insurance Policies Safe

If disaster struck, do you have any documentation that would support your claim to the insurance company?  For example, if a fire burned your home down, do you have any documentation of your personal wardrobe, household electronics, or furnishings?  Could you even recall who your insurance company is, much less locate their contact information and a copy of your insurance policy? 

To give yourself confidence that you will be able to make and support an insurance claim consider these steps:

Gather Evidence To Document the Existence of Your Property: In addition to preparing an inventory of your personal belongings, take photographs and video tape of the property.  Make sure to photograph or videotape the contents of closets, drawers, storage areas, attics and garages.  Store these photos and videotape to a secure internet site.  For example, I store such information on the i-cloud which I access with a secure password

Keep Receipts of Purchases for Personal Property: Maintain a folder in which you keep receipts for purchases of important or valuable items.  Retain checks and credit card statements as well.  Again, since physical records may be damaged in the event of a disaster, or you may not be able to access the documents due to road closures or transit disruption, keep this data in a secure on-line platform.

Know Your Insurance Company’s Contact Information and Have a Digital Copy of Your Policy:  First, it’s vital that you know the name and contact information of your insurance company, as well as have access to a copy of your insurance policy.  Remember that you most likely will not be able to access physical copies of your policies, so having access to this information and documentation at a secure internet site is vital

By having both evidence of your belongings and your insurance policies at your fingertips, you will be in a much better position to file and support an insurance claim.  Such documentation will make sure you maximize your recovery to help you and your family recover from disaster!

While the above considerations will be helpful for you to consider, you also should consult with an experienced insurance agent or broker who may offer additional guidance.  If you need a referral to a good broker in the DC area, please let me know.