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How to Prepare for the Worst: Keeping Your Documents in Case of Disaster

Most homeowners have property insurance, but don't know what to do to be prepared to use it. Florida's weather temperament and its many natural disasters take a toll on our properties. According to the Insurance Information Institute, one in twenty insured homes open a claim each year nationally, and that rate is likely increased in Florida. Although we hope disaster doesn't strike, it's important to prepare for the worst. Here are some of the best ways you can prepare your property in case of a property insurance claim:

Make an Inventory of All of Your Possessions in Your Home

Creating an itemized list of your belongings can be helpful in the event you need to file a property insurance claim and include loss to your personal belongings. An inventory is especially important in an area prone to natural disasters, which can result in severe flooding or water damage. Inventories may help speed up the claims process, as you'll know exactly which items were damaged. They are also important to ensure you don't forget a damaged item when reporting damages to the insurance company, which can help ensure you're compensated adequately.

Inventories should include basic information like: a description of the item, its purchase price and location, serial number, and a receipt. For bulk items, like clothing, it may be easier to include a generic explanation, such as "5 pairs of sneakers and 10 shirts." It may be useful to take photographs or a video recording of the items for additional documentation.

Keep Receipts and Photographs of Routine Repairs and Home Improvements

Most, if not all, insurance policies require homeowners to maintain their home by completing routine repairs and maintenance. Any maintenance or repairs done to the property should be documented and photographed or video recorded. In the event of an insurance claim, proof of the maintenance or repair may expedite the claims process and prevent the insurance company from wrongfully denying your claim on a basis that you did not adequately maintain the property. In addition, any home improvements completed should also be documented with receipts and photographs or video recordings to guarantee you're reimbursed for improvements made to your home and reduce the chance of a wrongful denial.

This article is not intended to be legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.

Client Reviews
"I was told by my insurance adjuster that Rina was a fabulous attorney who will fight hard for her clients and he was right. She did an outstanding job communicating with me throughout a stressful negotiation process and I was so happy with the settlement she got for me. Highly recommend the Law Offices of Rina Feld!” Mark L.
I had water damage to the inside of my home and homeowners insurance automatically rejected my claim. After giving up fighting them on my own i contacted Rina and she petsonally discussed options and explained the procedure. After about 4 months my claim was resolved , Rina worked pro bono so did not cost me a penny. I now have new ceilings ! Thoroughly recommended. Christopher D.
Rina is very efficient. She always kept me updated and worked very quickly. She took the time to explain everything thoroughly and made sure that I understood, although my primary language is Spanish. Mariel C.