Serving Clients in Lake County, Cook County and Chicago’s North Shore Suburbs
Each year more than 1000 tornados devastate the United States
How can a documented asset inventory help you in the event you are a victim of tornado?
Before disaster strikes and you’re faced with a devastating loss, make sure that you have a detailed inventory of your personal property – pictures, details, receipts and records of the contents of your home. After all, would you be able to remember all the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years if they were destroyed by a tornado? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help get your insurance claim settled faster, establish value of your assets, verify losses and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.
Each year more than 1000 tornadoes swarm the United States. Insured losses for cars, homes, personal and business property caused by tornadoes and severe thunderstorms reach well into the billions.
Tornado outbreaks are a stark reminder that it’s critical for you to understand how home insurance can protect you and your assets if a twister touches down in your neighborhood.
The most critical thing to know: Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover damage from a tornado, even though the policy may not mention that particular type of storm by name. A policy may not use the word “tornado” – instead it may say wind or windstorm damage.
Insurance industry experts offer important tips for making the claims process as smooth as possible in the wake of a tornado:
Take a Home Inventory and Keep it Up-to-Date
Every homeowner should take a home inventory and update it annually. Walk through the entire property (inside and out) with a camera, meticulously documenting what you have, how much it may be worth and make copies of any receipts or records for future use.
Once you have an inventory, make sure you update it annually and always store a copy of it in a secure location.
In the event you are a victim of a tornado, you will already have your inventory completed and available after the tornado hits. Remember, it’s a very emotional process to try and go through your scattered and damaged possessions after a disaster. Make sure you do it before you experience the loss.
Line Up Reputable Contractors
Make a list of reputable, local contractors to call in the event your home requires substantial repairs after a tornado. All too often, natural disasters like tornados can attract scam artists who are merely preying on other people’s misfortune.
Don’t rely on the people who show up immediately after a disaster, they aren’t always the best people for the job.
Get your Ducks in a Row
Before you even think about contractors, however, you should call your insurance company immediately after the damage has occurred and file a claim. Don’t clean up, don’t throw anything away and don’t try to make any hasty repairs on your own. This can affect the claims process and even hinder your ability to maximize the claim amount.
Your first instinct may be to clean up and throw things out right away. Before you do anything, make sure that you take photos and document the event. Don’t throw away anything until the insurance company has someone come out and look at it. This way you will be able to provide your home inventory records and your post-disaster photos to your insurance adjustor.
Homeowners should be careful about the information they provide to their insurance company as well as the terminology they use in conveying the details of the damage. For example, there’s a significant difference between water damage from a burst pipe and catastrophic flooding. Make sure you communicate as specifically as possible to avoid parts of your claim being denied.
Having a detailed and up to date home inventory is a critical component to any disaster recovery plan. If you are not able to document and maintain an inventory of your personal property, hire a professional. The fee to have the initial inventory performed is minimal when compared to the amount for money, heartache, anxiety and stress it will save you in the event of disaster.
Contact Spyglass Home Inventory today to schedule a free, no obligation home inventory needs assessment.
Spyglass Home Inventory offers Home Inventory and Business Asset Inventory Services throughout Chicago’s North Shore suburbs including both Cook County and Lake County in Illinois. We provide our residential property inventory, business asset inventory, asset protection inventory, estate planning inventory, divorce inventory and prenuptial inventory services to families and business owners in Barrington, Barrington Hills, Deerfield, Deer Park, Glencoe, Glenview, Grayslake, Gurnee, Hawthorn Woods, Highland Park, Highwood, Inverness, Kenilworth, Kildeer, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, North Barrington, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Vernon Hills, Wilmette, Winnetka and other Northern Illinois communities.