Before You Have a Claim

It is important to have some form of insurance coverage for your property and personal belongings. Business insurance, homeowners or renter’s insurance is your protection against a devastating loss. If you rent, your landlord may insure the building you live in, but the landlord’s insurance does not cover your personal belongings, so you will need renter’s insurance.

There are several things you should do before you have a claim to make the claims process easier:

Make an inventory of your personal property. Record model and serial numbers for expensive items (televisions, computers, etc.). Keep receipts for these items to record the purchase price, date, store, etc. Take pictures and videotapes of the contents of your home. Anytime you make a new large purchase, take a picture of the item. Store the inventory list and pictures at a location separate from your residence or business. Your insurance agent may like to have copies of the photos.

Make an inventory list of major renovations with invoices and receipts.

Go over your insurance policy to make sure you have adequate amounts of coverage. Has your home appreciated in value, but you have not increased your property insurance coverage amounts? Do you have Replacement Cost Value (replacing items at today’s prices) or Actual Cost Value (meaning cost minus depreciation) coverage?

Make copies of your insurance policies and keep in a secure location away from your residence or business.

Keep your insurance company’s name and phone number readily available.