What’s in Your Home?

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Reprinted from Pioneer Mutual Website – Allison Hillaker

“You never know what you have until it’s gone.” You have probably heard the cliché before, but unfortunately, this is often proven true when a catastrophe strikes a home. Many homeowners believe they know what their possessions are worth. However, when a fire, storm or other disaster hits, they’re left scrambling, trying to determine the cost to replace their valuables.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 2011’s severe weather caused $43 billion in damage, but yet still more than half of the nation’s homeowners don’t have an inventory of their possessions.

That’s why it’s important to have a Home Inventory Checklist before it’s too late. By simply going through your home, taking photos or videos of your possessions, and saving your receipts you can have a record that your insurance company’s claims department can utilize if needed.

It’s also a good idea to save this checklist online. The Insurance Information Institute, an online resource designed to provide information on insurance topics, has its own Home Inventory Checklist. On this website, you can add photos or videos of each room of your home, upload receipts/appraisals of your valuables, and save the information on their secure website. This way, if your home computer/files are destroyed, you can still access your inventory information from a remote location (ex: on a library or relative’s computer). This makes making a claim much simpler and can get you back on your feet quicker.

Not only can having the checklist help you file a claim, it can also help you determine whether you’re financially prepared for such an emergency. In an article entitled “OFIR Encourages Consumers to Use Free App to Protect Possessions from Severe Weather,” the Michigan Department of Regulatory Affairs states that taking inventory can help you know whether you have enough insurance protection on your home and belongings.

If a disaster strikes, you don’t need the extra stress of trying to remember everything in your home and trying to prove the costs. Having the Home Inventory Checklist can give you peace of mind that if you do need to file a major claim, your items are well documented.

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