Why You Need a Home Inventory List for Insurance
Prepare for the unexpected: Prove what you own and recover faster
For years, simply having any semblance of an inventory list of one’s property after a home disaster was immensely helpful. But to execute a proper inventory is both tedious and time consuming. That is primarily why less than 40% of homeowners have gone to the trouble. Now, with TakeStock360°, there is an easy and affordable way to obtain visual, highly-detailed, and irrefutable proof of what you own for any insurance claims adjuster, should the unexpected happen.
During the stressful aftermath of a catastrophe, it’s virtually impossible to remember everything you own. In fact, most people are only able to recall half of their home’s contents following a natural disaster. A 360° view of one’s entire home is definitive, visual proof of ownership for any insurance claims adjuster, validated by a third-party expert, such as TakeStock. At minimum, a 360° tour—or better yet, a 360° tour plus individual images of items—is an absolute necessity should your home be burglarized or damaged/destroyed by fire, flood or tornado. This may be the only proof you have of your valuable—oftentimes priceless—possessions, as well as practical, everyday household items. This extra precaution, a professionally created home inventory list for insurance, can substantiate your losses, streamline insurance claims and recover the true value of your assets.
Prove It, In Advance
Ideally, a home inventory for insurance purposes features an in-depth, room-by-room visual account of your family’s belongings—pictured in-place—with detailed descriptions. You should catalog all collectibles, jewelry, artwork and big ticket items like electronics, appliances and furniture. Yet it is equally important to document the easily overlooked smaller things that would need to be replaced in the event of a disaster, such as clothes and housewares. Those items quickly add up to a considerable amount of money should you suddenly need to replace everything. And, whenever you purchase something new, it should be added to your home insurance inventory so that the list is always current.
When you file a claim after a fire, flood, theft or other loss, your insurance company does not have to pay based simply on what you tell them. Typically, homeowners must provide proof of ownership for each and every item they claim was destroyed or stolen. A professional residential inventory is actually recommended by insurance providers so that you can definitively prove ownership of your belongings when making a claim. This protects you, as well as the insurance company.
Furthermore, insurance requirements vary by state. Some states, such as Texas, may require not only a list of items, but descriptions, receipts, photographs and other proof of ownership to ensure full compensation in a claim.
Faster Reimbursement of Claims
According to The Hanover Insurance Group, homeowners receive claim payments faster when they have a home inventory. Likewise, a poll by Insurance Journal magazine found that nearly 80% of insurance professionals believe homeowners’ insurance claims are processed 50-100% faster when customers have completed a home asset inventory in advance. From our experience at TakeStock, we have found that the length of time to settle a claim and the amount of compensation awarded are typically contingent upon the level of inventory preparedness. Plus, we work directly with your provider to ensure quick transfer and validation of your possessions so you can focus on getting your life back to normal.
Right-Sizing Your Insurance Policy
Nearly two out of every three American homes are underinsured. In fact, homeowners, on average, have only enough insurance to pay for 78% of the costs to replace or rebuild their homes. A home inventory can help you validate the scope and scale of your insurance coverage by aligning it with what you actually own—not just what your insurance company recommends (or requires). You may discover that you are actually over-insured or under-insured, and you might identify critical gaps in coverage.
Home Relocation Protection
Even when you hire the best professional movers, some loss or damage is usually sustained in transit. While some level of coverage is typically included within a home relocation service contract or under your homeowners’ insurance policy, it is prudent to protect your interests with your own detailed documentation. A comprehensive home inventory can be key in resolving disputes over loss or damage and obtaining compensation at full value. When it comes to minor damage—the inevitable scratches, scrapes and dents incurred during a move—a photo catalog is particularly useful in establishing the condition of particular items prior to transit.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. CYA, today!
Contact TakeStock, the personal property inventory experts, to schedule a free consultation.
“Having all of our home furnishing and valuables cataloged and ready to submit to our insurance company makes Rebecca and I feel settled. In the event of any loss, there will not be any negotiation around what was there.” J. Hallam, Dallas, TX