Insurance Claims how to Document your Valuables

Keeping a photographic list of valuables for insurance purposes.

One thing that people tend to take for granted is insurance, I have got insurance so I will be OK! Well that’s what you think!
When it comes to making a claim with your insurance company then proof of valuable items could help a great deal.
How are you first of all going to remember what you had in your home if you have say a fire and probably a total or serious partial loss? Goes without saying that I hope you will never suffer such a serious trauma.
If you do then that will be the time that you will least want to be messing around trying to think what needs replacing and having to compile a list for the insurance company.

A good time to sort problems of potential losses is before a major problem and when you can sit comfortable and think rationally.

If you have taken photographs of all of the items of value in your home then it is going to be much easier when/if they are needed.
First if you do not possess a digital camera then either buy or borrow one but failing that get someone who owns one to take the photos for you.

Take all pictures of small items with a Macro’ setting used in close-up mode for better detail and clarity of picture.
Jewelery is one particular item that should be photographed in detail especially if it is valuable, but many items of this type may not be valuable per item but may well add up to a substantial figure if there are numerous pieces.
Take all pictures of larger item with ordinary settings that you would use more for taking portrait type pictures.
In all cases try to place a suitable plain black or white background (material is most suitable here) directly behind the items to be photographed, this will also help to show up each item more clearly.

If you feel it necessary you could place a rule along side of some items to give an idea of size or scale, also a good idea is to place descriptive labels with articles.

When all pictures are taken then print them on your color inkjet or take them to be printed by a commercial printer (2 sets of prints) and leave them in a place of safety, also transfer all of the photo files onto a CD or a DVD and keep this in a safe place.
A good safe place is a filing cabinet because these tend to be somewhat fire proof and bear in mind your insurance documents, and perhaps a further copy with a solicitor or relative, it is possible to photo copy your insurance documents too in case they get lost or damaged but at very least put these also in a safe fireproof container like a filing cabinet and in a metal tin type container.

Finally don’t forget to include unusual and expensive features such as special fireplaces or ceiling design and of course special architectural features both inside and outside of your property.
These photographs could help to engage a builder and give some idea as to if it is within the scope of their capacity to do this type of work; also you are more likely to get a more accurate replacement when you can produce some photos of how it used to be.
Having said all of this I hope you will never need such help but at least if you do preparation now can save many hours of work and help you to recoup all of your losses.