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Preparing for the Worst, How to Prepare for an Insurance Claim

Whether you are insured or not, you must still provide sufficient evidence of damages to file a claim. And when you don’t have expensive items specially insured or all your property cataloged, it can be hard to calculate the costs of the damage and replacements. Therefore, you should always prepare for the worst to obtain the full value for your property in the event that you need to file a claim. Although insurance adjusters are very liberal and understanding when it comes to proving the value of items, you don’t want to take any chances if you have a lot of valuable property. You must also know the insurance limits and what may be covered under business property or personal possessions. Let’s discuss how to prepare for the worst in greater detail below and this can apply to auto insurance and homeowners insurance.

Keep Receipts

Whether you need to save the monthly digital account statements from your credit cards and bank accounts or the actual paper documents, you need to keep your records. You can purchase $10,000 or more in small apartment items over the course of a year without even realizing it. In fact, when you calculate your insurance claims, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the little things add up. And it is ironic because we often get very little use out of things that we buy because we need to use them at least on occasion. Maintaining a thumbdrive or a folder on your laptop hard drive with all your monthly purchases and statements makes it much easier to file an insurance claim.

Take Photographs

If you really want to build a case regarding the value and extent of your possessions, you should take a day to go through your property and take photographs. The more expensive the item, the more photos you will want to take as proof that your item was the real McCoy. Photographs will also make it easy for you to make a checklist of everything that was destroyed in the home fire or flood. You don’t have to take a picture of each piece individually but want to retain enough detail to help you remember what you had.

Obtain Appraisals for Expensive Items

If you have collectible pieces of art or other heirlooms that are worth a lot, you should definitely consider a special insurance policy for full coverage. Most insurance plans have a cap that will cover ordinary household items. This may exclude priceless works of art and other expensive goods. In order to ensure that your policy provides full coverage, it is important to get your item authenticated and appraised. It is also helpful to have the provenance to prove a chain of ownership.

Age is Important

The value of many items depreciates with age. Even if you have all the receipts for things like power tools, clothing, or furniture, the age is going to play a critical role in the calculations. However, you may be able to obtain full reimbursement if you purchase a replacement because insurance adjusters understand that it is hard to find something in good condition that is several years old. Therefore, in order to truly have what you previously had, you have little choice other than to purchase a brand-new replacement of a similar design.


Insurance adjusters try to be as compassionate and as fair as possible when assessing the value of your claims. However, they may be limited by the language of the policy or caps on the potential payout if you don’t have evidence of expensive items. As a general rule, you will need receipts and proof of any single item that has a value greater than $500. Following these tips will ensure that you are covered even in the worst-case scenario.

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