It’s not often in our lives that we make purchases as large as building a new home. We work for years for the opportunity and years more to sustain the lifestyle to which we aspire. And when the moment finally happens, before we move in the first piece of furniture, we get that home insured.
Most every standard home insurance policy covers the loss of personal property, such as the furniture, artwork and electronics we buy to populate our new home with stuff. And even though these items are eligible to be covered under the standard home insurance policy in the case of fire or severe weather, fewer than half of owners actually take the time to itemize their personal property in case of a disaster. More specifically, only 41% of homeowners list their belongings in a document that can be given to an insurance company in the event of a catastrophe.
Insurers have even stated that itemized lists of belongings can speed up the recovery process as much as double. Without an itemized list, insurers are forced to retrace the steps of any item you claim, verify that claim and only then pay out to replace the lost item. Keeping careful records of your belongings can change the whole nature of this process, and adding proof to those records can be the deciding factor in whether or not you receive your rightful reimbursement.
At the very least, every homeowner should inventory each item in their home worth over $500. Even better, homeowners should list every item worth $100. Keep in mind, anything you own that is not written down and documented is subject to interpretation, and the company that is footing the bill almost always makes that interpretation. The best protection is documentation.