Why Your Personal Inventory Can Make or Break Your Insurance Claim

You probably have a general idea of what clothes you have in your closet. And you’d obviously notice if your computer or television just disappeared overnight. But what would happen if a fire destroyed your home? How could you possibly start to explain to the insurance company that you need to replace everything you own? That’s where your personal inventory would come into play.

Homeowners Insurance and Your Personal Inventory

Having a general understanding of how your homeowners insurance policy works can help you feel more confident about your coverage in case the worst should happen. Getting an annual policy review is a great place to start because it gives you the chance to really think through your limits and check for any coverage gaps for the assets you own.

For example, maybe you installed a new sound system in your living room last year. Or maybe you finally replaced those old kitchen appliances with some newer models. You’ll probably want those upgrades reflected in your policy. That way, if something goes wrong, you’ll have a better chance of getting completely reimbursed—all because you planned ahead and decided to increase your coverage.

In most policies, Coverage C is for your personal property limit. It’s important to really get honest and think critically about this number. If everything in your home went away tomorrow, would the dollar amount of that policy limit be enough to help you rebuild your life? In fact, do you even have a rough idea of what that number should be? That’s the power of your personal inventory.

When you’ve been able to go through your home and document all of those big-ticket items, you’ll start to see how quickly your belongings add up. Unfortunately, far too many homeowners don’t realize how useful a personal inventory can be until it’s too late.

Claims without Inventory Documentation

Say a storm hits your home while you’re out of town. Your family is fine, but you didn’t have fair warning to go through every room and document the items before that hurricane or tornado touched down. Can you still file a homeowners insurance claim without really knowing the nitty-gritty of everything you’ve lost? Technically, you can. But it often comes with a catch.

The fact of the matter is that if you don’t have a detailed personal inventory to show everything that was in your possession before your event, then the insurance company (and you) can only take a guess at what you’re actually owed for your claim. There are just too many factors to consider. Even though you’re being totally honest with what’s been destroyed or gone missing, it’s not their responsibility to make concessions. Without the hard facts and documentation, the insurance company may have to assume the lowest cash value.

If you’re trying to rebuild your life after a major storm or other catastrophe, one of the last things you’ll want to do is buckle down and try to collect as many details as you can about your belongings. Without having already saved your personal inventory, you might be struggling through the insurance claim process for much longer than you’d expect. Things can go a lot smoother when you’ve worked to organize those records ahead of time.

Get Reimbursed for What You Own

Assuming you have the right coverages in place for your homeowners insurance policy, the next best thing you can do for your insurance claim is to have an updated personal inventory list. Being able to share exact product and serial numbers with the insurance company can go a long way for getting the funds you deserve. You’ll be in a strong position to get reimbursed when you can clearly prove what you had in your home.

That’s why it’s so beneficial to work with an inventory app. Total Asset Protection walks you through each step, so you don’t miss a thing. And after you’ve captured all of the photos you need and made the notes you want, the app will store your inventory in the cloud. Then, if the time ever comes to make an insurance claim, you can access your account and pull a detailed report of everything you own. This can save you from spending countless hours negotiating with the insurance company or your adjuster. When you know exactly what you own, you’ll be able to make a stronger case to get the most money from your claim. Total Asset Protection can help! Learn more here.