Preparing for a loss

The best thing you can do is read and understand your insurance policy.

Make certain you have the coverage you wanted and the amounts you need.

It is a good idea to keep a record of your belongings. Photographs and/or video of your home and possessions are extremely valuable in the event of a catastrophic loss or theft. Not only do they assist the adjuster in the handling of your claim, but they serve to remind you of what you may have lost. An inventory taken in each room, along with the pictures or film, and copies of receipts, appraisals and warranties can serve to document your loss and make the process of recovery much easier.

The Insurance Information Institute ( offers free software to help homeowners prepare an inventory of their personal property.

Remember that having all of the documentation any well-prepared individual could hope for doesn’t help if that documentation is lost in the event that damages your home. These records should be kept in a separate location where they can be retrieved should it become necessary. Update these records annually, and you will be in the best possible position to deal with the unexpected.