Fire, flood, burglary – you never know when you’ll need to file a claim on your home insurance policy. To make sure you’re covered, here are a few simple steps that you can take that will help you in the future!
1 – Read the small print on your home insurance policy carefully – ideally do this before the damage occurs so you know you’re properly covered. Ensure that the descriptions of your property are accurately detailed on your insurance schedule and that all details are correct (sums insured, etc.).
- Notify your insurers or broker in writing if any error is spotted, requesting them to correct the same as a matter of urgency. Keep this email or letter as proof.
2 – Keep proof of purchase of all items valued at over $200, wherever possible. This will provide evidence of the price and date of purchase. Keep a running record and inventory of all collections like artwork, jewellery or other irreplaceable collections and proof of purchase from now on if you haven’t already done so.
3 – Complete a written inventory of all your household goods on an annual basis. Forward this to your insurance company or broker for their records. This will place the ball in their court to ask you for proof of purchase for more expensive items such as expensive electronic equipment or jewellery beforehand.
- It is always best to have proof of purchase of these items and updated valuations conducted on all your jewellery items every two years or so.
- Being very particular about this from the onset could save you a fortune of money and headaches should an insurance loss occur. You can even go as far as keeping proof of ownership of these items in a fireproof safe.
4 – In the absence of the above-mentioned evidence as proof of ownership, or as supporting evidence, take photos of your valuables with serial numbers. Flickr limits you to 20 MB of uploads per month, so shoot at low resolution or downsize the files using an app like http://gimp.org Gimp (gimp.org). Upload your pictures to (http://flickr.com Flickr), making sure to select “Private” – you don’t want the whole world ogling your Fabergé eggs.
- Write captions for each photo.
- Include the date you purchased the item and its approximate value.