Be Prepared: Document Your Property BEFORE Damage Occurs
If someone asked you to list everything you own, you probably couldn’t do it. And even if you could, you probably don’t know each item’s value offhand. This raises the question: if a fire, hurricane, or other weather event ever damaged your home, how would you file your insurance claim without detailed information about any losses?
Insurance claims require a detailed list of all items destroyed or damaged. Documentation ensures a smooth and speedy claims process and maximizes your insurance reimbursement. In this blog, we’ll share some tips for documenting your important assets, so that you’re not facing a huge loss if the unthinkable occurs.
How to Conduct a Home Inventory
Document your home inventory as thoroughly as possible. A combination of still images and videos should be included. Video footage can support a future claim by showing the items as they appear naturally in your home, while photos provide more detail for each one.
Using your smartphone or a video-capable camera, take the following steps:
- Take a video of your home’s exterior and interior: Be sure to show the front and back of your home, along with fencing, landscaping, patios, and any additional structures on your property. If you’re anticipating a weather event and move any items, such as furniture, inside, document that too. When you’re done, go inside and create a video catalog of each room. Pan from top to bottom and side to side to ensure you get everything.
- Photograph the exterior and interior: You should take several detailed pictures of each outside area, along with any structures and other items. Then take a picture of each room in your house. Depending on the room’s layout, position the camera at each corner or wherever you can get the best wide-angle shot.
- Take pictures of valuables: Collect all valuables that aren’t visible in the room or exterior images. This includes but may not be limited to jewelry, coin collections, stored artwork, and heirlooms. Take photos of each item.
Once you’ve captured everything, hunt down all receipts, including appraisal certificates, to prove ownership and value of each item. Scan your receipts and store them digitally, so they can be readily accessed even if the originals are damaged in a storm or fire. It can also help to create a spreadsheet, organize it by rooms, and include as much information as possible about each room’s contents.
Questions About Documenting Your Property?
No one ever wants or even expects to lose everything in a weather event, fire, or other disaster, but it happens: the state’s insurance regulator reports that nearly 80% of all homeowners’ insurance lawsuits in the United States are filed in Florida. Proper documentation can reduce the likelihood of a dispute and get your claim settled faster.If you have questions about documenting your property in Florida, contact Honest Lion Adjusting. We can explain what insurers are looking for in submitted claims so you can ensure that you cover all your bases. For more information, please call 844-LION-100.