Who determines the value of my property?
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Asked April 15, 2015
When you apply for renters insurance, the best way to document your possessions is by making a home inventory which includes photographic proof as well as copies of your purchase receipts. If you do not have the receipts, the value of your property can be calculated in other ways, but the home inventory is still your best option for making sure you are protected because it contains visual proof of possession.
To make a home inventory, use a video recorder or even a phone with video capability. Move from room to room in the home, filming every item in the room, including appliances, rugs, wall hangings, clothing, or anything else that belongs to you. Be sure to include any items kept outside, such as bicycles or tools kept in a shed or garage. The more complete your home inventory is, the better your chances of getting things replaced if you have to file a claim.
If you do not have receipts for all of your property, the insurance company can use an estimated value based on the retail price of the item minus depreciation for the age of the item. If the video shows an item that is damaged or shows signs of heavy use, the estimated value may be adjusted to reflect the reduced value of the item.
The value of your property, under renters insurance, is determined by you and the insurance company. The better you are able to show your investment, the easier it will be to insure the item for that value. Keep in mind, though, that the personal property portion of your policy has an upper limit, and you may not get the full value of all of your possessions if that limit is exceeded by the claim. If you are offered a settlement which you do not agree with, you have the option of disputing the settlement and attempting to renegotiate the value. In this case, you may need to hire an independent appraiser to help you determine the true cost of your property.
Answered April 18, 2015 by Anonymous