Take Your Home’s Inventory Before Hurricane Season
New and veteran Florida residents alike understand the importance of insuring their possessions against the common weather disasters we see each year. Hurricanes, flooding, and even wildfires can wreak havoc on our homes, businesses, cars, and possessions, and without the proper insurance coverage, these items are in jeopardy of becoming complete losses.
Should disaster strike, would you be able to remember every item that was damaged in your home in order to pursue financial recovery from the insurance company?
At the Morgan Law Group, our Florida insurance claims attorneys hope you never have to use it, but keeping an up-to-date home inventory will help you to file an accurate and complete insurance claim, and aid in getting it settled faster.
Here’s how to create a list of everything in your home, without becoming overwhelmed by the process.
Step One: Choose an inventory recording format.
How you choose to make the list is completely up to you, but be sure that it includes both written and visual records.
- Written Inventory: Create a comprehensive catalog of each item in your home by making complete notes of any applicable details, including:
- Description of the item
- Where the item was purchased
- Date of purchase
- Serial number
- Evaluations of items, appraisals, or cost at the time of purchase
- Visual Record: Using your phone, or another video recording device record your possessions and their placement, as proof of ownership. This can also be accomplished through photographs if you prefer.
Like with most things, there are apps available on your smartphone that help with the cataloging process, if you prefer to keep a digital inventory. These mobile apps allow you to file a photograph or video of the item, along with their description, value, purchase date, and any other details.
Step Two: Create a starting point.
Once you are ready to move forward with the inventory, choose a starting point that will allow you to progress logically through your home or condo, instead of jumping around from room to room.
Consider starting with outside structures, like the garage or shed, and then moving inward, room by room, floor by floor.
Pay special attention to your most valuable possessions, which can include electronics, jewelry, antiques, and other collectibles.
Step Three: Don’t forget the small things.
You may not realize or think about it now, but your clothing, books, and other small miscellaneous belongings have value. And when they have been destroyed from a hurricane or a fire, it will lead to extreme financial loss. That is why it is essential that all items – even the small ones – have value and need to be recorded.
Step Four: Do not become overwhelmed by the process.
Once you have started taking an inventory of your home, create goals to keep the list going.
Choose a pace that works for you. Instead of trying to inventory your home over a single day, consider outlining the details of one room per day, until the house is complete.
If the process becomes too stressful, take a break and resume the task later. This exercise is designed to help keep you organized and prepared for the future, not to induce stress. Take your time and pace yourself.
Step Five: Keep your home inventory up-to-date and safely stored.
The more accurate and accessible your home inventory is, the more valuable it will become when it is time to file a claim with your insurance company. Whether the list is on paper or digitally stored on your computer or phone, keep the list in a safe place outside the home, or be sure to back it up in a second digital location.
If you have suffered damage to your home and possessions from a hurricane, fire, or another disaster, contact our Florida insurance claims attorneys at the Morgan Law Group today at (866) 689-4161 to learn how to successfully submit your claim to the insurance company to avoid delays, diminished offers, or denials from your policy provider.