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Keeping Records in Case of Crisis

Most insurance companies will reimburse policy holders for the contents of their home as long as they can detail what they had, when they bought it and give the make and model.
VILONIA, AR -- As storm survivors move from cleanup to rebuilding many are rushing to file insurance claims.

Some insurance agents are finding homeowners are not keeping adequate records to reimburse them during a crisis.

When an agent comes out to a home, they can help make sure you get paid for the actual structure, depending on how much coverage you have.

But, it's up to you to tell them what you owned that got destroyed from inside your home. 

For the hundreds of families affected and even people who were not, this is a reminder to make sure you have taken inventory of your possessions.

Companies like State Farm will reimburse policy holders for the contents of their home as long as they can detail what they had, when they bought it and give the make and model.

Insurance agents say 98 percent of the people they run into do not keep such a list.

A family in Vilonia took photos of everything in their home last month and it is helping them now.

"Take the time because we do have reassurance. We will remember when we do claims.  We have a son who didn't have insurance and we're going to be able to help him. That helps us to know we are going to be able to do that easier," explained Sherry Lee, who lost her home in Sunday night's storms.

The family says the 2011 tornado was their wake-up call.

It took weeks but the Lees took detailed photographs off all of their possessions except pots and pans. 

They took those memory cards into their storm shelter Sunday afternoon.

Some companies give families a year or more to compile a List of missing or destroyed items but to make it easier they advise families to make one before a distaster hits.

Include brand name, model, price and when you bought it, to make sure you don't leave any money on the table if something like this ever happens to you.

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