One of the most daunting tasks you will face with a fire insurance claim is the personal property portion of the claim. Due to the scale and scope of work involved, this task is usually the most time-consuming and overwhelming part of the claim; it’s also the most often mismanaged. The main objective of this part of the claim is to collect the full amount the insurance company owes you for what it would cost to replace your personal contents. This is much easier said than done and does require a strategic and organized approach.
Your insurance company will require you to list personal property items in your home in order for you to collect the money owed to you under the personal property coverage in your insurance policy. The amount of detail required will vary from carrier to carrier but a best practice is to list every single item that was damaged or affected by fire and or smoke damage.
Our public adjusters have successfully documented thousands of personal property claims for fire claimants. Here are tips on how to compile the most comprehensive list without professional assistance from a fire claim adjuster.
Get started – This task can be overwhelming so start small with a pen and notebook. In your mind’s eye go room to room and write down the belongings you can remember. Start with larger items.
Go room to room – Even if your home is a total loss from the fire damage, revisit or visualize each room. Start at the entrance of each room and walk clockwise making note of items from the floor and up the wall. Open closets, cupboards and cabinets and make note of every item you can remember you kept in those places.
Explore other sources- Talk with or ask family and friends who visited your home to help recall items in your home. Go through photos on your phone or computer to help jog your memory of clothing and other items you owned.
Create a List – After you’ve exhausted your memory and spoken to family and friends, it’s time to formulate your list in an organized manner. Our public adjusters recommend using a spreadsheet program such as Excel by Microsoft. Rooms should be separated by tabs. Each tab or worksheet should contain columns for product description, brand, age, quantity, price and for bonus points, a column for a web site link to the same or similar product. Start inputting items from your notebook.
Keep Going – Find a comprehensive inventory list. These lists can be found online and many public adjusters will provide them free of charge. Insurance companies will usually provide very generic versions of this list. Inventory lists contain items people typically have in their homes and will help you to fill in the blanks. Every item you forget or leave off the list will equal lost money for you and your family.
Compiling and submitting your personal property claim after a fire can be a daunting and time-consuming task. If there are issues over valuation and depreciation then it’s of utmost importance that you consult with an experienced fire claim adjuster immediately.
Our fire claim adjusters are available 24/7 to provide fire claim help and answer your questions at no cost or obligation to you. Make contact today by calling (800) 572-7914 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org