When your home is damaged in a fire, flood or storm, items inside of your home are likely to sustain damage as well. The damage to your personal property should be included in your homeowner’s insurance claim; and, in order to make sure you receive adequate payment for your property loss, you need to try to come up with a list of your damaged and lost property that is as complete as possible.
While taking photos when you return home can help provide a record of some of your damaged personal property, your post-disaster photos may not provide a complete picture of everything you have lost. Here are some additional tips for compiling a list you can use when dealing with your insurer:
1. Look at Old Photos and Videos
If you have old photos and videos on your phone, saved on your computer (or in the cloud), or that survived the disaster, look for any images or video that were taken at your home. What do you see in the background? Even if photos or videos pre-date your belongings at the time your home was damaged, they may still help jog your memory as to your more-recent possessions.
2. Work as a Family
Working as a family to create a list of damaged or lost items can help you recall items that you may have otherwise forgotten. Your children are likely to have a better memory of the toys in their closets, while your spouse may be able to list off all of the collectibles and other items in his or her favorite room of the house.
3. Ask Friends and Relatives for Help
If friends or relatives have visited recently (or visit often), they may be able to help you compile your list of damaged and lost items as well. Ask them what they remember, and ask them to share any photos they took during parties or holidays.
4. Look at Your Credit Card Statements
If you shop with credit cards, your credit card statements can provide a running history of your home-related and non-home-related purchases. While your credit card statements may not list items individually, knowing when you made purchases from certain vendors (and for how much) can help point you toward more-specific information.
5. Check Your Online Shopping Accounts and Emails
If you shop on Amazon.com or use any other online stores, you may have a complete list of your purchases in your online account or in your purchase confirmation emails. Log in, check your archived and deleted emails, and think about which items would have been at home at the time of the fire, flood or storm.
6. Check Prices In-Store
If you purchased items in-store, using the store’s shopping app or price-checking machine can help you find the value of items you purchased without needing to walk the isles.
7. Hire a Public Adjuster
Finally, if you are struggling to place a value on your personal property loss, you may benefit from hiring a public adjuster. Public adjusters work for policyholders – not the insurance companies – and they can use their expertise in property damage claims to help maximize the compensation you receive under your policy.
Contact Our Insurance Claim Lawyers in Broward County, FL
If you have questions about documenting your losses after a disaster or need help dealing with your insurance company, our insurance claim lawyers can help. For more information, please call (954) 928-9568 or request a consultation online today.