Claim Settlement Process

Claim Settlement Process bb3 Sep 8, 2011

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

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Determining ownership and the value of property that was stolen or destroyed is difficult after the loss, simply because there is nothing to view.

Keeping a detailed home inventory will help you in this situation. Be sure to keep a copy of this inventory in a safe deposit box or other location outside your home.

Items Useful for Verification

  • Photographs of inventory or a family member with item in the background
  • Receipts, purchase orders, invoices
  • Canceled cheques
  • Credit card slips
  • Charge account records
  • Chattel mortgages
  • Registration (Guns, Boats, etc.)
  • Customs declarations
  • Warranties and guarantees
  • Instruction manuals
  • Tax records
  • Bills of lading, shipping receipts, tariff receipts
  • Other people able to testify to existence of the property – such as:
    • Delivery people
    • Movers
    • Repair people
    • Cleaners
    • Domestic servants
    • Neighbours
    • Relatives
    • Friends
    • Appraisers
    • Vendors
    • Sales clerks
    • Landlords
    • Donors
    • Insurance agents.

If you have a loss, you and the claims person will be using these items to establish the age and value of your possessions. Most insurance policies provide coverage for personal property on an actual cash value basis (replacement cost less depreciation). Some policies or endorsements provide coverage on a replacement cost basis -- depreciation is not considered. Discuss the details of your policy with your agent.

Make an inventory of damage: This inventory should be room-by-room, giving complete descriptions of the damaged property.

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