Q. Why do I need a home inventory, won’t my insurance company trust that I know what I have in my home?
A. A home inventory is valuable because it can be very difficult to remember everything that was in the home. A good inventory, if supplemented with photos, video, receipts, model numbers and appraisals, can help the homeowner get a more accurate settlement in less time, in most cases. A copy of the inventory should be kept in a safe, or in a location away from the home. To make creating your inventory as easy as possible, the I.I.I. has a free home inventory tool, Know Your Stuff®, which includes secure online storage so you can access your inventory anywhere, anytime.
Q. Much of my furniture and possessions were badly damaged, can I get rid of them if I have a home inventory?
A. A homeowner should not throw things away until an insurance company representative has had a chance to assess the damage and make a claim report.
Q. My home was vandalized after the fire and my new television was stolen, am I covered?
A. Homeowners insurance policies cover theft and vandalism, so any losses due to looting in the wake of the fire would be paid.
Q. Are there many different kinds of personal coverage policies?
A. There are two basic kinds of coverage for contents--replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost coverage pays for the damaged item to be replaced with a new item of similar quality. Actual cash value coverage, which is less expensive to buy, pays an amount equal to the replacement cost, less depreciation. So if a 20-year-old washing machine is damaged and you have replacement coverage, the insurance company would pay for a new washing machine. If you have an actual cash value policy, the insurance company would pay only a small portion of the cost of buying a new machine, because that machine has already been used for 20 years and would only be worth a fraction of its original cost. Replacement cost policies usually have higher limits for personal possessions than actual cash value policies because the cost of replacing all the damaged items is higher.