Creating a Home Inventory for Insurance Claims

How can you replace your property if you don’t know what it is, how much you have or what kind it is? Anyone who owns or rents a home or condo is always at risk for property damage, whether it be from natural disasters or by robbery or theft.  As a safety precaution, it is important to not only know the worth of your belongings, but also to keep a record of them in the unfortunate event that you might have to file for an insurance claim to replace your lost belongings. BMR Insurance recommends keeping an accurate record of your belongings. It will not only ensure that you will have adequate insurance to cover your assets, but will also simplify the process of filing insurance claims.

The best way to keep record of what you have is through compiling an inventory.  There are several ways to conduct inventory for your home.  You can do a home walk-through yourself—just verbally record your belongings into a tape recorder or log your belongings in a structured form as you go.  But the fastest, most efficient and accurate method of documenting your belongings is to literally document them through a video recording.

A video recording will provide you with precise and detailed documentation of your belongings.  Take your video camera and do a full tour of your home, recording every specific detail—from brand name to how long you’ve had it in your possession—of your belongings.  After you have finished video recording your inventory, make two copies and keep one off-site and one at home.  Make sure you store it in a secure location like a safe; you wouldn’t want anyone stealing your video work too!

You can’t always rely on your memory, and having a physical record of your belongings allows you to have an accurate reference for later. When processing a filed claim, insurance companies look for detailed and descriptive records.  If a claim is too vague, insurance companies will have to check with retailers from where you bought your products.  Retailers generally keep detailed inventory records of all their sales for up to 10 years, allowing insurance companies to cross-reference and check for accuracy.  But by keeping an accurate personal inventory, you will eliminate this extra step for your insurance company, saving both parties a lot of time and money.

Many people underestimate the value of items in their homes, and don’t realize that every little item eventually adds up together.  For example, when you moved, did you empty out your refrigerator and buy all new products for your new home?  How much did that cost?  Did it shock you that you had to spend that much to replace everything you once had?  Now, think about how much you would have to buy to replace your belongings after a fire, and how much that would cost. Don’t under-claim your belongings—every little bit counts. You’ll be glad you did.

For a free, comprehensive insurance consultation, contact BMR Insurance today by calling 714-838-1911 or just stop by our office, conveniently located on Tustin’s Newport Boulevard.

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