Creating a Home Inventory in Event of a Water or Fire Loss
If your home and belongings are damaged in a flood or fire, you will need to create a home inventory list to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Creating a comprehensive inventory list is cumbersome, and the truth is many Las Vegas homeowners don’t have one before a disaster strikes, and are faced with the difficult task of creating a list after their belongings have been destroyed by a fire or damaged by a flood.
Preparing a home inventory prior to a disaster will not only help to ensure you get your full reimbursement from the insurance claim, but will also help to speed the process along. The sooner you complete your claim, the sooner you can replace your belongings and return to normal.
Beginning a Home Inventory for Insurance Claims
A home inventory is an exhaustive list of the items in your home along with their value or replacement cost. Compiling a home inventory is not a small task, but if you focus on completing the inventory one room at a time, the task will be more manageable.
The first thing you should do is take photos of every room in your house from several angles. These photos can be especially helpful on a fire claim where your items were destroyed. You can also use the photos as a reference when creating your list. Be sure to store the photos in a safe place so they won’t get damaged.
Keep your list as organized as possible. It’s a good idea to break it down by room—that way if only a portion of your home is damaged, you will be able to quickly identify the items in those rooms. You may also want to create categories for each room such as electronics, appliances, furniture, collectibles, etc. This will help you with the actual inventory to ensure you don’t miss anything.
For large items, it’s a good idea to save the receipts and to keep them with your inventory list. These will help you get the full reimbursement for these items and will save you time when determining the value of the items. As you make additional purchases, be sure to keep those receipts, too. You may want to scan or make copies of the receipts to store somewhere outside the home or digitally online.
After your list is complete, remember to maintain and update it as the items in your home change. Set aside a time each year to review and adjust your inventory to keep it up to date and accurate. Don’t just keep one copy of your inventory list—keep a hard copy in your home or in a safe place, and also consider storing another copy digitally or online where it cannot be physically destroyed.
Evaluate Your Insurance Coverage
A home inventory is helpful, because once it’s complete you should have a good idea of the actual value of your belongings. You can use this information to ensure that you have adequate coverage in the event of a total loss.
Review your existing insurance coverage, and make sure you understand what is covered and whether you will be reimbursed the actual cash value or the replacement cost of the items. Actual cash value uses depreciation to determine what your items would have been worth just before the loss, similar to pricing a used car for sale. Replacement cost is the actual cost of replacing the items at new, face value.
If you have any questions about your policy talk to your insurance agent for clarification. Your agent should also be able to help you determine if your existing coverage is adequate, and can provide pricing for additional coverage levels. Unfortunately, many homeowners find they are underinsured only after a fire or flood has destroyed their belongings.
In addition to replacement coverage, make sure your insurance provides coverage for the repair and restoration of your home after a fire or flood. Homeowners policies do not include flood coverage, and flood insurance must be purchased separately if you live in an area at risk of flooding.
We hope you never have to deal with the stresses of a water or fire loss in your home. But, if you do ERX restoration professionals serving the entire Las Vegas area have experience guiding you through the process. You will never be alone in figuring out how to restore your home, work with your insurance and minimize loss.