Recording Home Contents
It is a worrying fact that over 90% of us could not make an accurate insurance claim.
If you are under insured by too high a value, insurers can refuse to pay a claim on the basis that your mis-valuation was deliberate... even if only some of your contents are stolen. For example, lets say you have a policy with £40,000 contents cover and a flood from your water tank damages your bedroom and lounge. You put in a claim for £30,000. The insurer is more than likely to query why 75% of your total contents are within 2 rooms. They could then visit your property, revalue the assets and reject your claim. At most they would pay you a percentage of your claim.
Disputed insurance claims can take weeks or months to resolve, and yet readyclaim can take as little as 2 hours to help you discover and accurately value your home contents. Simply attaching three photos of each area to the room icon and adding your main assets is a start, and it will help fast track your insurance claim.
Typical wardrobe contents
Typical bedroom contents
What Information do I need if I make a claim?
For people finding it difficult to believe that they will need ownership evidence in the event of a claim, here are some articles with links. The first are from consumer advice sites such as Money Central and Which. These are followed by actual guidelines from example insurers. True life stories of people having trouble with obtaining their money from insurance claims can also be found on websites such as www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk
Money Central – MSN
Document, document, document. This is important both before you need to make a claim and when you need to make one. Save the receipts for items you buy. That will help prove what items you had and how much those items cost. Photographs and/or videotapes of your home (both in pre- and post-disaster form) can also be beneficial. These will help you establish an inventory of your belongings should the need arise. Take photos or videos of the damage before you begin cleaning up. Many cell phones now have cameras built in, so be sure you know how to use yours if you have one. If you don’t have a camera phone, keep one disposable camera in your glove compartment and one at home.
Always read the policy terms and conditions thoroughly to make sure you’re covered for everything you think you are. Read them again if you have to make a claim. Check regularly that you have enough insurance, and make sure you keep your documentation in a safe place.
Morgan Clark – Specialist Loss Assessors
The UK’s leading independent business and residential loss assessors for insurance claims
In the aftermath of a major fire, flood or other disaster to your home or your business, you face major upheaval and stress. In addition, you’ll immediately have the major task of making a complicated insurance claim.
Most of us assume we’re well insured and that there will be no problem claiming the full amount to cover any loss or damage sustained. But this isn’t always the case. Anyone who has had to make a home insurance claim or business insurance claim will tell you how difficult it can be.
Investopedia – Advice site on protecting your investment
To avoid any discrepancies and any delays in receiving your insurance money for your home, make sure you document everything. Photograph and videotape the entire contents of your home and the home itself. Then store these photos and videotapes in a fireproof box. In addition, consider storing a copy of the photos at a relative’s house, and/or in a safety deposit box. Doing this will help homeowners compile an inventory of their possessions (which is what the insurance company will demand) after a disaster. It will also, by extension, dramatically shorten the length of the claims process if a disaster does occur.
You may be asked for the following when you call to claim:
- Original documents such as receipts, invoices, instruction booklets or photographs that can confirm age, the make, model or cost of the item you’re claiming for
- The date you bought the lost/damaged item(s)
- Written confirmation by a qualified electrician that electrical items are beyond repair
- If you’ve been burgled or had items stolen, you should notify the police immediately and give us the Crime Reference Number.
What kind of additional information will I be asked to provide? It is helpful if you keep receipts, guarantees, instruction manuals, valuations or photographs for your most valuable items in a safe place as these may help to support your claim. By valuable items, we mean jewellery, watches, paintings, collectors’ items and any items/sets of gold or silver.
Do I need proof of ownership / purchase for the items I’m claiming for?
Depending on the items being claimed for and the circumstances of the claim, we may be able to settle your claim without evidence. However, in most cases, we will require evidence.
If you’re claiming for accidental damage to your contents, the claims handler will decide if the item could be a possible repair. They may allocate a supplier to inspect the item to help make this decision.
If the item cannot be repaired the claims handler will value your replacement on a like for like, new for old basis. We don’t make any deductions based on wear or tear. A supplier may also be allocated to value and replace the item.
They’ll give you the option of a replacement or a cash settlement. They might also ask for receipts and photos of the accident before settling. If we do pay cash the amount we pay will reflect any discounts we may have received had we replaced the property.
Legal and General
We may request more information such as:
- The date and place of purchase, plus receipts, invoices, instruction booklets, valuations or photographs.
- The location of the property when it was lost or damaged.
- For damaged property, confirmation from a suitably qualified tradesman of the cause of damage and whether or not the item can be economically repaired.
We may not meet your claim, or settlement may be reduced, if you cannot provide these details.