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How to Prove the Value of Your Losses from Theft

No one plans on an invader robbing his or her home, but it does happen. Many of us just assume it won’t happen to us. Still, we all have some kind of home or renter’s insurance to protect our belongings. However, it won’t matter if you can’t prove what you had. The key to recovering from such an event is preparation, and that means taking inventory of all your possessions. Insurance companies will request this in the event of a claim. Here are some steps to take to be ready in the event the unexpected strikes.

Financial Documents

When trying to file a claim for losses, the best evidence comes from proof of purchase. Anything that can show how much money you spent on an item makes your job easier when proving the value of items lost. Receipts, credit card statements, bills, or bank statements all document your expenses. Keep track of them.

Pictures

Images are as valuable in proving you owned something as they are in showing damage in an auto insurance claim. Take clear images of all of your valuables and organize them into a system easily understandable by someone else. Place them on a thumb drive, make actual prints to store separately, or store them in the cloud. When filing your claim, make sure you send copies to support your case.

Estimates

You may be in a situation where it’s necessary to have a professional appraiser step in to assess the value of your property. This estimate provides you with official third-party evidence of your property’s value, which serves as powerful support for your claims.

Affidavit

You can choose to sign an affidavit in which you enter into evidence what you owned and what you paid for the items. Having this done in this form gives your testimony, a key factor in any claim, an extra official layer to present to your insurance company. In some instances, this may serve as your only option to verify what you owned and the corresponding value.

Make a Digital Record

Physical evidence carries with it an inherent weakness: thieves can steal or destroy it if you store it in your home. An alternative option to physical records is digital copies. You can keep detailed records in a variety of apps or take advantage of cloud storage to keep official records you can call upon to prove your claims.

Tips

Here are a few tips to help simplify your work. Go to a store where you can replace your items and use a wedding registry scanner to scan the items you need on your list. Employ the help of friends or family to make sure your list is complete. Use store websites to quickly find values for items you own. Finally, consider negotiating a settlement close to your policy’s set limits if you really don’t want to take the time to do a full inventory.

During the process, take steps to ensure you receive the best possible settlement to help restore your life to what it was before the unexpected event. Don’t rush into any decision, and get professional help to make sure the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you.