After Your Immediate Needs Are Met
As owners of a personal property inventory service, people often tell us stories of what happened to their own family, other family members, or their friends.
It is very emotional and heart-breaking when someone has any loss, but especially when they experience a major or total loss.
Here are three scenarios that have been shared. Let’s just imagine it was you…
- You’ve been on vacation and come home to an empty house. Your neighbor watched the burglars load up their truck, thinking that you were moving. Not even a picture left hanging on the wall!
- You’re coming home from a fun day with the family and you see fire engines in front of your house. Or, actually, what used to be your house.
- Severe weather warnings have been up all day, and now the tornado sirens are going off. You run to the basement just as the tornado sucks your house into the air. When all is quiet (very quiet), you walk up the stairs from the basement into bright daylight. And no house…just a few timbers remain on your property.
Your emotions are raw. Fear! Anger! Frustration! Sadness! The first thing is, you’re happy everyone is OK. Then, with assistance, you find food, clothing, and a place to stay. Your immediate needs for you and your family are met…now what??
Now it’s time to recover. Now it’s time to file your insurance claim. You will need to list every item you would like the insurance company to reimburse you for. It doesn’t seem hard at first. You can certainly remember how many sofas, televisions, and tables you owned. Do you know how many CDs, DVDs, and video games you own? What about clothing? Many clients underestimated the number of clothes by thousands of dollars! You have decorative items throughout the house. Can you list each one? What about cleaning supplies, linens, food, paper goods, make-up, toys, power tools? And the kitchen – mixers, blender, electric knife, electric can opener, waffle maker, toaster, coffee maker, juicer, iced tea pot, coffee bean grinder, crockpot! The lists go on and on.
It begins to blur, doesn’t it? Now, how about the manufacturer and model number of all the electronics and appliances you can remember so this information can help prove the value?
Once your immediate needs are met (food, water, shelter, clothing), there is a lot to do to get your family back to where you were before the loss. Your family will need you as everyone deals with the emotions this event caused. Does your memory serve you well enough to be able to file a maximized claim – and do it quickly – while under the stress and a deadline?
Having an inventory prepared before a loss is so beneficial. The inventory photos and the written report will help you answer all these questions. It will also answer the many questions your adjuster will ask. Be prepared so you can recover quickly.