It can be stressful, anytime you have to file a claim on your NH property insurance policy. Something you care about is either damaged or destroyed and you may suddenly feel vulnerable and perhaps defensive as you have to hand over a lot of information to a company representative who you don't really know and feel may be judging you.
At HPM Insurance in Milford we understand that this process can be very stressful so we are revealing the best tip that has helped the claim settlement process of our clients, and the answer is:
Documentation, documentation, documentation.
A common question we receive from our clients is:
Do I need to provide a description and receipt for everything I own if there is a claim?
The answer is yes and no. Keep in mind that insurance adjusters are people too. They understand that it is impossible to keep a paper record of every little thing you own. That said however, if you have a claim (say a fire) and everything was destroyed you would need to provide an inventory list with a description of all items, its approximate purchase date and value. This can be daunting, especially if a total loss, and there are hundreds of items lost.
With the modern technology of cell phones, digital cameras and cloud storage, it has never been easier to walk through your home with a digital camera and record what you own room-by-room, closet-by-closet and drawer-by-drawer. You would then need to ensure that this file is uploaded or stored somewhere outside your home in case of a total loss and it is needed for future reference.
If you make a larger purchase, like a TV, stereo, computer, furniture, etc. and you have a receipt, keep it in a file if needed. It certainly doesn't hurt. You may even want to take a picture of it or scan it electronically to be stored off site or in a cloud to ensure you have it if necessary.
If you have anything that is unique we would also strongly suggest you add a schedule to your policy that specifically lists the item prior to any loss. This way, the item is insured for an amount already agreed on by the insurance company and you before anything happens to it. Please refer to a prior HPM Insurance blog titled Insuring Jewelry, Guns and Other Special Collections for more information.
Our belongings are personal and in many ways are a reflection of ourselves. Take the time to ensure you are protecting what is important to you by, in the least, taking pictures/video of what you own and filing receipts to the most thorough process of creating an updated inventory list. It will make the claims process much less stressful.