Essential for a Disaster Plan; A Home Inventory can Accelerate Recovery Process
Concordville, PA, March 23, 2012 2011 was an active weather season. Pennsylvanians experienced snow storms, earthquakes, sinkholes, hail storms, tornados and Hurricane Irene. Just one weather event in one part of the state can be catastrophic. The wind damage and hailstorms caused by the active weather of March 23 and 24, 2011 in southwestern and south central Pennsylvania resulted in over 7,000 claims and $30 million in damage for State Farm customers. In fact, wind and hail claims are among the Top Four types of Claims in the Commonwealth with an average cost of $7,545 per claim.
During severe weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes, winds can reach speeds greater than 100 miles per hour. But even winds at 25 miles per hour can damage homes and property. This includes ripping apart roofs or bringing down trees that damage structures.
Do you know what personal items are in each room? How much did you pay for your sofa?
Many devastating storms, some of which include may a tornado, can strike with little warning. Prepare now while the weather is calm and time is available.
It all begins with a home inventory.
A home inventory is an excellent way to expedite the claims process after an insured theft, damage, or loss. This inventory can take several forms, but usually it's a list of the insurable items in your home, along with information about each item's value. If you do experience a property loss, your inventory will assist in the settlement of a covered loss or claim. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
There are several ways to create an effective home inventory.
Perhaps the easiest do-it-yourself solution is to make a video walk-through or take a series of photographs of your home. This visual record can stand alone as your inventory, but for added security combine the photos with another inventory method. For example, you could fill out a home inventory checklist (pdf). Many versions are available online or through your insurer.
There are several digital methods as well. To customize your information, create a home inventory spreadsheet on your home computer. For greater efficiency but a bit less flexibility, purchase a home inventory software program or sign up for an online inventory program. Look for programs that walk you through the inventory process, including attaching digital photos.
The most convenient method but also the most expensive is to hire a home inventory company. If you choose this option, be sure to check the credentials of candidate companies carefully.
Your home inventory should support the claims process for events ranging from the total or partial loss of your home by wind, or other named perils, to the burglary of a few specific items.
A good way to ensure proper coverage is to move from room to room, recording items as you go. Pay special attention to the most valuable items, such as antiques, jewelry, and electronic equipment. Also, don't forget to include items in your basement, attic, garage, and any detached structures such as tool sheds.
If you have any questions about which possessions are covered by your policy, contact your insurance agent.
To establish the ownership and value of your property, your home inventory should include as much of the following information as possible:
Don't let your home inventory become part of a property loss. Whichever inventory method you choose, be sure to keep a copy in a bank safe deposit box or other secure location away from your home.
Dangerous, unexpected storms occur in every state in the U.S., in both urban and rural areas, and over land, mountains, and water. The period following a disaster can be disorienting and dangerous. Proper documentation of your losses is one less thing you will want to deal with and , in most instances, will help expedite your claim.
Plan ahead, develop a plan, and protect your home.
About State Farm®
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.