Personal Property Insurance – Duties After a Loss

There is a great deal of uncertainty about what happens after one experiences a loss. Most people state that they just don’t know how they are going to recover. For the coverage on the contents of your home or business, the personal property policy outlines what you will need to provide to receive your insurance settlement.

There is a standard verbiage in these policies. Under the Duties After Loss heading, you’ll discover some statements that might surprise you, and of which you need to be aware.

One statement is that they have no duty to provide coverage if you fail to comply with their requirements. The requirements can be performed by you or a representative (an inventory service provider, for example).

You must notify your agent or the insurance company promptly. In the case of theft or loss, you must also notify the police.

If there is an investigation of your claim, you will be expected to cooperate fully. You’ll be required to prepare an inventory of the damaged items, listing the quantity, description, actual cash value and the amount of your loss. Bills, receipts, appraisal forms and any other documents that support your claim will be requested.

A signed, sworn proof of loss will need to be submitted within 60 days after the insurance company’s request. The proof of loss will state the time and cause of the loss, other insurance that may cover the loss, the inventory of the personal property.

Insurance policies vary. Check yours to make sure you understand what will be expected of you when you file a claim.

This shows why it’s so important to have your personal property documented for your home and business prior to a disaster. Can you imagine trying to complete that task without a previously prepared inventory – especially when feeling overwhelmed due to the stress you’d be experiencing?