Home Inventories – It’s Not Just About The Money
One benefit of a home inventory normally discussed is the amount of money you face to lose after a fire, theft, or natural disaster. Without the assistance of a prepared inventory of the contents of your home prior to your loss, you will most likely forget many items that will need to be replaced.
The list and photos of a home inventory remind you what you had and helps prove the value. Without it, you can face a huge financial burden as you buy the items for which you didn’t receive insurance reimbursement.
But there is another benefit to having a home inventory. For most, it’s an even greater benefit than receiving a more equitable insurance settlement. Time!
When you’re faced with a loss, you are emotionally drained. You’ll need to spend weeks, and often months, completing your insurance claim form. This amount of time required is due to not being able to remember what you owned. You are also dealing with other tasks associated with the loss, and the time to list every item can be overwhelming. Here are two examples of how this can be such a difficult process.
The drywall is coming down
We received a phone call after Matthew created major damage along the east coast. This person asked if we could come “yesterday” to help him create an inventory of his loss. The urgency was due to his adjuster calling and said the restoration company would be arriving in a few days to start removing the water-soaked drywall and the contents that were damaged. They needed to act quickly to eliminate mold issues. He had just returned home, and with all the other issues he had to deal with, was now under a deadline before his contents were removed.
If he had an inventory of his home’s contents prior to this loss, the information would be readily available and the claims process would have been quicker and much smoother.
They are bulldozing my house next week
A client called us about a month after a tornado destroyed her house. There were still some salvageable items, which she was periodically moving to her new residence. However, she hadn’t even begun to record the damaged items or those that were completely blown away. She received a phone call from the insurance adjuster to let her know the bulldozer was scheduled to come within a week. Working full time and having family responsibilities placed a burden on her to have the time to record her belongings. We took care of listing her items for her, and giving assistance in helping her remember items that were no longer on her property (no idea where they landed!).
If she had the inventory documents prior to her loss, it would have been less stressful, she would have had all the information necessary to file her claim, and she wouldn’t have wondered how many items she forgot that had blown away. Now that she sees the value of a home inventory prepared before it’s needed, she is having us back when she’s in her new, permanent home.
Yes, it’s important to recover the funds – that’s why you have insurance! But the value of a home inventory isn’t just financial. The time, stress, and extra work involved to recover from a loss – and the assistance that a home inventory can provide – is often as valuable as the financial recovery.