Many times an insurance claim can be relatively small and quick, but there are also some occasions that require more work and have more at stake. These times might include fire, theft or other covered disasters. In an already difficult situation, having an inventory of your personal property will be very beneficial.
1) A complete inventory will help you to collect the full amount you are owed in case of burglary, fire or other covered disaster. When submitting your inventory, it is important to include photos or video, serial numbers and even receipts for large-ticket items. Keep in mind that different items may either appreciate or depreciate with time. But, having your information, already consolidated and accessible, will help you complete a claim as accurately as possible.
2) An inventory will allow you to quickly and easily determine what is missing from your home. During the chaotic time following a theft, for example, it is quite difficult to survey the scene and readily notice what items might be missing. However, with an inventory, you can go through your house checking off items as you go. It is very helpful to be able to remove the emotional element and follow a set list so you do not overlook anything.
3) Compiling your inventory in advance will facilitate the filing of claims. When working with your insurance company, it is best to file your claim as soon as possible after the event. If you already have a list, you will not lose valuable time as you try to remember all of your personal belongings that should be included.
4) A detailed inventory will assist with identifying recovered property after a burglary. It is wise to include serial numbers on your inventory list, as this is the best way to confirm that recovered property is actually yours.
5) Finally, going through the process of building your personal property list will help to ensure that you have adequate coverage of your belongings. By itemizing everything, you will know if your current policy covers replacement costs should you need that benefit. This information may help you determine if you would like to increase or lower your coverage amount.
Once you have gone through the process of itemizing your things, it will be much easier to maintain it. Be sure to add or remove valuable items as your inventory changes. Maybe set a reminder on your calendar to update this 2-3 times a year. Also, be sure to protect your inventory. It is a good idea to store extra copies of it in two additional places, maybe with a family member and in a safe.
Putting together this inventory can be a bit of a project, but if it is needed, you will be glad you invested the time and effort.