Uncertainty. Isn’t that why you buy insurance? You’re uncertain about the future. Will your house catch on fire? Be broken into? Hit by lightning? Damaged by wind? If you knew ahead of time that disaster would strike, you would prepare for it to minimize your loss. But what can you do to prepare for the unknown?
Actually, there are some easy things you can do to help minimize the financial loss and administrative headache. Listed below are the four steps we recommend for home loss preparedness.
Probably the hardest thing to deal with after a homeowner loss is remembering what you had! That’s why we recommend an inventory of your belongings. You may keep a written inventory, a photo inventory, a video inventory, or a combination of the three. Clients tell us that the easiest method is a video inventory. (Click here for our blog on Easy Steps to Complete an Inventory.)
Receipts, owner’s manuals, warranties, etc. are big helps when a loss occurs. Those documents include the purchase date, price, and model number of your item and help tremendously when you have to replace the item.
Jewelry and other valuables, such as guns, furs, and fine arts, require special care. Without an insurance schedule specifically listing each item with a price and description, there is limited coverage under your home policy for such valuables. Each company has its own maximum limit, so call us if you’re unsure about your policy limit. For the items you don’t want to list specifically, we recommend you keep the receipts and take photos of the items.
Make a New Year’s Resolution to review your inventory list and photos every January 1. Add new items and delete old ones. Call us if you’ve make significant changes to your house, belongings, or lifestyle. For example, if you’ve added on to your home, finished your basement, added a deck, etc., let us know. We can check your policy to make sure limits are adequate.
To sum up, the four steps we recommend are simple ways of helping yourself should a loss ever occur. They apply to any type of claim (theft, fire, etc.) and don’t require a big investment on your part. Although no one can be totally prepared for a home loss, planning for one can save you hours of frustration after a loss occurs.