Photos, videos and lists will help expedite the claims process if you suffer damage
WASHINGTON D.C. — As the threat of a massive hurricane looms for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, insurers are urging homeowners and renters to grab their smart phones or cameras and take a careful inventory of all their home’s contents.
The American Property Casualty Insurance Association says creating a digital or paper inventory will allow residents to quickly and easily report damage or losses in the wake of a storm.
An inventory should record a complete list of your home’s contents. When possible, include receipts, descriptions, estimated value and photos or videos. After the inventory is completed, be sure you have multiple ways to access it, for example, by storing a copy in the cloud, emailing it to yourself or sharing it with a friend or relative outside of the storm area.
“Creating a home inventory will expedite the claims process,” said Jessica Hanna, APCIA’s senior vice president of public affairs. “If you sustain storm damage, call your insurer as soon as possible, and beware of signing any documents from contractors before you talk to your company or agent.”
APCIA also reminds residents to download important disaster apps to smart phones and tablets before the storm strikes.
Apps, such as those from the Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency and many insurance companies, can help with communication and recovery, according to the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.
The Red Cross has several disaster-related applications. The hurricane app gives users information about creating an emergency plan. The FEMA app provides emergency safety tips, real-time updates from the National Weather Service and listings of emergency services, such as shelters and disaster recovery centers.
Resident should check with their insurance companies to see if they have an apps available in addition to ones operated by local police, fire and emergency services.