RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Before the hurricane hits, you need to be prepared with more than an emergency kit.
You’ve got to be prepared to prove to your insurance company what was in your house.
Hurricanes don’t just pop up out of nowhere, we get plenty of warning that they are coming.
Before the winds start to blow—don’t blow your chances to recover all you can if you must make a claim.
If a hurricane damages or destroys your house, your insurance company would need a list of all your damaged property. Would you be able to do that?
Consumer Reports says almost 70 percent of us don’t have an inventory of our valuables.
“It’s going to be really helpful to have that inventory,” said Emily Steele of Property Damage Appraisers.
This downloadable home inventory list shows the kinds of things you need to record in your Livingroom, dining room, kitchen, and bedrooms.
You’ll need to list everything from CDs and wall art to big-ticket items like appliances.
“If you have receipts, take photos of them,” said Steele. “Email yourself the list. If you have photos of the condition of your home–all of that will be helpful if it’s saved in the cloud.”
After the storm hits, your insurance company will send an adjuster.
“The adjuster will ask you about the pre-loss condition and what was the condition of the unit prior to the storm,” said Steele.
That’s where your photos come in handy.
Steele prefers photos over videos because they are easier to email to those who will need to see them. Many times, she said, videos are just too large to email successfully.
She also says to check to see if your insurance policy gives you full replacement value
“It’s a separate rider, so you’ve got to know what type of policy you’ve purchased,” she said.
If your home is damaged, before you hire a contractor to do permanent repairs you may need to secure your home.
“Do what you can to mitigate your damages because you don’t know when the next storm is coming,” she said.
Don’t hire a contractor until you get a thumbs up from the insurance company.
“Let’s wait till the insurance company has seen the property,” Steele said.
If you decide to add a rider for full replacement cost, be aware it may take time before it goes into effect so check with your insurance company to find out specifics.
The same goes for flood insurance.
It has a 30-day waiting period between the date of purchase and when the policy activates.