If you own your own home or are considering getting into the market, you probably know that there are additional costs and expenses that come along with your home beyond just your mortgage. One of the most important things you will need to protect your investment is homeowner’s insurance which can reimburse you if you fall victim to a fire or other catastrophic event. While nobody wants to think of their home and all their belongings strewn across the yard and city after a disaster, you should still prepare for this eventuality by keeping a very good record of your home inventory. Though taking inventory of all of your belongings may seem like a daunting task, having documentation of exactly what you own and what it is worth can really help if you find yourself in a horrible situation.
Preparing for the Unthinkable
Having all of your documents in order in case you need to make a homeowner’s insurance claim is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from the unthinkable. Though it can be very time-intensive to catalog all of your possessions and what their estimated worth amount to, you can find inventory software to make the job easier. It won’t be fun, but it will make a bad situation a little less difficult to deal with.
Also, make sure you store your documents in a safe place; preferably off-site. At the very least, you need a fireproof safe to protect your home inventory sheets and insurance papers, but having a copy of them in another location is even better because it’s less likely that disaster will strike in two places at once.
Filing Your Insurance Claim
If you find yourself in the middle of a disaster, you can find peace-of-mind with the help of your homeowner’s insurance company. Things like temporary housing and financial assistance while you are going through the claims process is usually a standard part of most policies, so you won’t be on your own while the claim is being processed. You will likely need to setup a meeting with a claims agent and provide them with the home inventory documentation and they will evaluate things with the city and state governments like the value of your home or vehicles at the time of the incident. Though having good home inventory records won’t automatically make everything better, it can make the claims process a lot simpler and less stressful.
Rebuilding Your Life
Once you have filed your claim with the insurance company, things will start to move a little quicker. You can start rebuilding your home or shopping for a replacement and you can also start replacing all of your lost possessions. It is also important to note that some things like baby pictures and family heirlooms are irreplaceable, so you may want to find a safe location to keep things that are very important to you since insurance money cannot bring them back. While there are some things that a good homeowner’s insurance policy can’t replace, keeping accurate records of your home inventory can go a long way to making your life whole again.