A house fire can be quite devastating, leaving everything in your home burned or ruined by smoke. While the repair of your home will largely be handled by contractors, making a claim for your lost personal property can be a lot of work. Here are some tips for handling the claim to ensure that nothing is missed.
Document What Was Lost
If you want to ensure that everything you lost is covered by your insurance, you need to list it on the proper insurance form. Unfortunately there thousands of things in your home when you really start to think about it, and it can be difficult to list all of them.
When your home suffered a total loss, the best thing you can do is try to remember what you had. It is best to sit down with your family as a group and think about each room one at at time. Start in a corner of the room, and mentally list everything that you can think was in there, all the way to the items that were in the drawers. Go around the room until you think you've listed everything, then move on to the next room.
Another tip is to take photographs of everything that is taken out of the home that is damaged beyond repair. It is a good idea to cross check the photographs with what is on your mental list, since you might see things that you forgot about.
Record The Replacement Value
With the list of damaged items in hand, you need to come up with prices of what those things are worth to buy new today. Start with the internet and try to find the manufacturer's suggested retail price of items on online shopping websites.
For things that you cannot find, it will help to go to a general merchandise store. Browse the aisles for identical items or similar replacements, and record that price with your list of items.
Anything that you replace will give you the full replacement value, but items that are not replaced will result in receive cash for the the depreciated value. The value is based on how old the item is and what the price of it is to buy new today, with the depreciated value dropping for each year you owned the item.
Taking the time to document what you had and the replacement costs from your home insurance will help ensure you are fully compensated for what you lost in a house fire.