Property Owners Inventory Obligations in the Event of a Large Loss — Documentation is Critical

Property owners devastated from a large loss such as a tornado, fire or flood are often shocked to learn that the burden is on them to come up with an inventory of all of the personal property that they lost during the catastrophe in order to be fully compensated for the loss.  Having been denied claims, many home owners are lost over their rights and adequate steps to overturn an insurance claim denial.

Replacement Cost Policy and Actual Cash Value Of Insurance Claims

If owners have a replacement cost policy (RCV), the insurance company is obligated to pay the owner for the depreciated value (actual cash value or ACV) of the item. The insurer then holds back the replacement cost value (RCV) until the item is actually replaced.  When the item is replaced, and up to the limits of the policy, the property owner should be reimbursed for the difference in the RCV and the ACV already paid.

“Proof of Loss” In Filing an Insurance Claim

Most insurance companies require that the owner provide a sworn “proof of loss” where the owner has to represent, under oath, that all of the information contained in it is true and accurate.  The proof of loss will have a deadline for its completion and, if it is not returned on time, the insurance company can deny the claim.

The failure to be accurate on a proof of loss can have drastic consequences. Courts can and have ordered a property owner to return all funds received from an insurance company if the insurance company successfully proves overstatements on a proof of loss.

Keeping Record Of Your Property For a Claim

So, what is a property owner to do?  Pictures and videotapes proving ownership of the items in question are immeasurably helpful.  If you have not video taped your belongings (obviously storing the video image off site) that is a good first place to start. Bank records and credit card statements can assist in establishing when an item was purchased. Owners overwhelmed in producing a proof of loss can also get assistance from a qualified public adjuster who is trained at combing through records to help owners accurately complete their proofs of losses.   Saving receipts to document and recover the RCV portion of the loss is critical as well.

Seeking Support from Twin Cities Insurance Claim Denial Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been denied an insurance claim it is important to contact an attorney immediately. Our attorneys understand when a policyholder submits a claim to their insurance company, they expect that the insurer will act in good faith and honor their claim. Our firm is experienced in bad faith claims, storm damage claims, fire damage claims, home flood claims, and many types. We can help you receive fair compensation for your damages.