Don't Waste Your Money: Insurance may not pay without inventory - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Insurance may not pay without home inventory

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(Toledo News Now) -

If someone broke into your home, or a fire destroyed your home, would you know everything you lost? Chances are the answer is no, but there may be something you can create to keep track of what you own.

Many of us got new gadgets in the past few months, such as an iPad, laptop, or maybe HDTV.

But did you place a record of what you bought some place safe? One woman learned the hard way why documenting what you have is so important.    

Thieves Clear Out Her Home

Bobbi Jo James showed where thieves broke into her home, shattering the glass and her sense of security.

"They used a pry bar to bust out the door here," James said.

They grabbed everything in sight, stole her laptop and camera, and grabbed irreplaceable family jewelry.

She felt violated. She felt violated again when the insurance company balked on reimbursing her.

"That's the first thing the insurance company and the police officer asked me: Did I have the serial number to the laptop?" explained James.

But she had no receipt, no records, not even the box to show what laptop she owned, let alone the value of it.

"Without the records," she said, "You don't get reimbursed by your insurance company. They pretty much set the price to whatever they want to set it at." 

No documentation of a $1,500 MacBook you own means you could be reimbursed just $300 for a 5-year-old Gateway laptop.

Many Homeowners Have No Records

Many of us buy jewelry and gadgets, then misplace the receipts.
    
So the Insurance Information Institute recommends you:

-Make a list of all valuables. Save receipts, especially for electronics, like tablets and laptops, the first things to disappear in a home break-in.

-Include the price paid and model number. Ideally, record the serial number, in case police recover it.

-Tuck that information into a safe deposit box at the bank or basement safe, where a thief can't get it.

The Good News

James' insurer finally offered her several hundred dollars for the laptop, camera, and jewelry. 

She just hopes others learn from her mistake.

"They definitely need to make a record. Take a picture if you don't want to write it all down," suggested James.

So document your valuables. That will help greatly if you have to make a claim, so you don't waste your money.

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