LOS ANGELES, Nov. 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — If El Nino brings a flood to your doorstep and wipes out your family treasures, will you have a record of your heirlooms?
Insurance companies are encouraging Southern Californians to make sure they’re fully covered before El Nino barrels in, and that means not just insuring the home you live in but also what it contains. That’s where a home inventory comes in. You need to make sure everything’s documented.
“You need to be able to prove you actually had the things you’ve lost,” says Marty Stevens-Heebner, founder and CEO of Clear Home Solutions. “Having a home inventory is the best way to make sure any insurance claim you make clears the claims process.”
“Doing your own basic home inventory isn’t hard, but it can be extremely time consuming,” reports Stevens-Heebner. “First, take photos of all the items in your home. With electronics, be sure to also get a photo of the serial and model numbers.” In addition, make a list of all your items as well to go along with your photos. It’s important to make sure to update your home inventory after the holidays by adding the gifts you and your family receive.
El Nino is Not the Only Threat
There are other instances where a home inventory can help, too. “After a disaster – be it flood, fire or theft – you’re upset and your mind is going a thousand miles a minute,” says Rod Pyle, a top Los Angeles insurance agent with Farmers Insurance. “Because a home inventory provides a full list of your personal goods, you can get better results when you’re talking with your insurance adjuster because you have the very best information to offer them.” If catastrophe strikes, your claim will be one among many vying for your insurance company’s time and attention. Says Stevens- Heebner, “Being prepared in advance can make a horrible situation a bit easier to handle.” The simpler you make it to approve your claim by providing them with the evidence they need, the quicker you may be able to get your claim settled.
During 1997-98, it’s estimated that El Nino caused approximately $550 million in damage. “We’re also due for an earthquake,” says Stevens-Heebner. “Southern California tends to get a big shake every 20 years or so, and the last one was in 1994. It’s important to be ready for that as well in case your home is red-tagged.” Estimates of the damage of the ‘94 quake run as high as $44 billion.
How to Protect Yourself Now
Bringing in a professional saves you and your family several hours, if not days, of work. They’ll prepare a comprehensive record that insurance companies prefer because it makes any claim you make more accurate, and that results in a faster turnaround time. In addition to digital photography, Clear Home Solutions also logs your items, their location, model numbers and other descriptive information using secure online software.
“Since we’re a neutral third party,” says Stevens-Heebner, “our reports are also very useful for probate, estate disputes or if people need to separate their assets because of divorce.”
This rainy season make sure you have your home inventory standing by and, as with your emergency supply kit, hope you won’t need to use it.
About Clear Home Solutions
Clear Home Solutions works with individuals and families who need help managing and inventorying their belongings by providing home inventories, move management and professional organizing services. CHS works with you and your loved ones compassionately as well as efficiently during what’s often an emotional and intimate time. Our goal is to ensure that you and your possessions are cared for and respected. CEO Marty Stevens-Heebner was the first Certified Senior Move Manager in the country and is on the board of the National Association of Senior Move Managers. She’s also an active member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and an AD/HD and Chronic Disorganization Specialist.
ContactPatty ElliottOffice Manager, Clear Home Solutions(818) 376-0125Patty@ClearHomeSolutions.comTwitter: @clearhomesol