How to Keep Good Records for Insurance
You never know when disaster will strike. Fires and storms happen without warning, and they have the potential to destroy your house and everything you own. Insurance can replace your loss—but only if you have a record of your possessions. That’s why you need to make a detailed account of your home and its contents and then place those records in a safe place. Check out three ways people keep good records for insurance.
For expensive and valuable possessions, it’s a good idea to keep purchase receipts and appraisals where appropriate. Since these are paper items, they won’t survive something like a fire, so buy a fireproof box in which to keep them or arrange for storage off-site. Ask a friend or relative to hold onto them for you or place them in a safety deposit box if you have one. Some insurance companies will also scan these items for you and keep them in a computer system for future reference.
One of the most popular ways to keep records of your personal property is to take photographs, and again, keep them somewhere safe. When taking photos of your items, make sure they are clear and, where possible, get close-up shots of model and serial numbers, especially on electronics. Digital cameras have made it easier than ever to store large quantities of photographs, and you can back up your photos to a server, where they can remain safe in case the original files get lost or destroyed.
You can also use photographs to document the features of your home so you can return it to its original state if it gets destroyed.
Many people also document their home and belongings with video cameras because they can pan a room and zoom in where necessary, instead of capturing each individual item. If you choose this option, you can keep your documentation on one file. Again, digital video allows for easy and safe storage in a place where even a total loss of your home won’t damage it.
The more information you record for your insurance company, the easier it will be to reconstruct your home and replace your possessions. It’s up to you to create and store this evidence, so make sure your records are complete and safe.