You need what?

Insurance is funny. Not funny like a clown. Not funny is like “Do I amuse you?” It is based on a great deal of trust and faith. Unfortunately, 10% of all money paid out in insurance claims is paid for fraudulent claims. So, where am I headed with this? Let’s spend a few sentences discussing how someone goes about submitting a a claim for a loss under your home coverage. First, it is important to understand that in any loss, it is your obligation to prove that you have had a loss. This is not as complicated as it sounds MOST of the time.

If the pipe in your upstairs bathroom leaks and damages the ceiling in the dining room below, everyone can see that it is the ceiling that needs to be repaired and repainted. If you house gets struck by lightning and your TV, computer and refrigerator are damaged, it is pretty obvious what needs to be replaced. What happens in the event of a fire or theft, though? Now it is not so easy to prove what was there before it was stolen or burned.

There are some pretty interesting solutions. The first one that everone thinks about is the receipt. It would be great if we could all remember to keep those pesky receipts, but that rarely happens. What is the next best thing? We recommend a quick photo inventory. Take a few pictures from various angles in every room. Put those photos on a disk and keep them at work or in your car. Just don’t keep them in the house because they could be destroyed in the fire.

Another new option? How about a smartphone app? There are plenty of apps that allow you to catalogue your home, complete with descriptions and photos.

So, if you are unfortunate enough to have a loss, when you are asked to produce a list of what was damaged or stolen, instead of replying “You need what?” you can sit down with the insurance adjuster and use your phone app or photos to show them what you had.