documenting property

Filing an insurance claim after your home has been damaged is a great way to help you get the money you need to make repairs and replace damaged belongings. While speaking with your insurance agent and letting them know what happened should be the first step, you’ll still need to document the damage to show the insurance company the extent of the damage and increase the chances of getting a fair settlement. Documenting that damage is essential, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your documentation is as clear as possible. Here are a few tips from your Michigan property insurance claim attorneys that you’ll want to use.

Create a List of Damaged Items in Your Home

Creating a detailed inventory of the damaged items in your home is essential. It shows the insurance provider just how extensive your damages are and gives them a better picture of what needs to be repaired and replaced in your home. Start by creating a detailed list of each item that’s damaged or destroyed. 

Write down descriptions of the items including any serial numbers if they’re still visible and include a brief description of the damage each item suffered. You can take notes on your phone or tablet or write out a list by hand—just make sure that the final list is typed up and saved on your computer for future reference.

Compile Original Purchase Receipts 

Ideally, you’ll want to provide copies of the original purchase receipts for all major appliances, clothes, artwork, and other valuables in your home. If you have those receipts, scan the originals into your computer and send the images to your insurance provider. If you don’t have receipts, provide the insurance provider with as much information as you can and give your best estimate for the cost of replacement. Ultimately, the insurance adjuster will determine what they believe is fair based on current market prices. 

Use a High-Quality Camera

The more detail you can provide the insurance company, the better off your claim will be. You’ll want to take detailed pictures of the damage which means you’ll need to use a high-quality camera. Avoid disposable cameras or old point-and-shoot digital cameras with low resolution. The goal is to submit crisp and clear photos that showcase the extent of the damage done to your home.

You don’t have to go out and buy a fancy camera either. Most cell phone cameras have high enough resolutions to adequately document the damage. If you’re not sure or your phone is older, consider borrowing a newer model from a friend or family member.

Document Whole Rooms

While you will want to document each damaged item in detail, it’s important to document the full scale of the damage as well. The best way to do that is by taking photos and videos of entire rooms at once. If you can, record yourself walking through the damaged property, documenting each room as you go. Then, take still pictures of each room and area of your home.

Photograph Each Damaged Item and Part of Your Property

Once you’ve done the general walkthrough, you’ll want to take detailed photos of each damaged item and part of your home. This means documenting damaged items from different sides, taking pictures of architectural elements that are damaged as a result of the disaster, and documenting as much information as you can. Be sure to document items kept in closets, drawers, and storage areas as well. 

Let a Michigan Property Insurance Attorney Help

Documenting the damage on your property is a great way to increase the chances of getting a fair settlement from your insurance provider. But even detailed documentation can’t guarantee that the insurance company’s offer will be enough to cover the full cost of your repairs. If you’re worried about a low settlement or aren’t happy with what you’ve been offered, reach out to Fabian, Sklar, King & Liss and schedule a consultation.