Insurance – Myths and Realities

Insurance – Myths and Realities

I continually hear the same questions or statements when discussing why people need an inventory. We all agree (unfortunately) that an insurance policy reads as easily as any other legal document! This, of course, is the source of not being able to understand your coverage.

So I’m here to dispel some of the most common myths, or misunderstandings, regarding personal property insurance.

MYTH

I don’t need an inventory; I have insurance.

REALITY

Without a document that contains a list of your belongings, and photos to back up your written report, you will forget a large number of items. It’s hard enough just trying to remember when you’re sitting here, relaxed and comfortable. If you were under the stress of just having experience a loss, it will be impossible! Insurance companies required you to fill out a claim form; thus, if you don’t list something you won’t receive money to replace it.

MYTH

If I have a disaster, I’ll get a check for the amount of my coverage.

REALITY

Most insurance companies won’t just cut you a check without proof of ownership. And often you must prove ownership. For example, a stolen 42” television brought the theft victim only 0 because he couldn’t prove it was a big screen TV. Instead, he received the standard allowed for a television. Consider this – let’s say you have 0,000 in coverage. If your belongings are worth only ,000, you will not receive 0,000. 

MYTH

My jewelry isn’t worth that much.

REALITY

Insurance policies have limits on items, and jewelry commonly has a limit of 00. That limit isn’t per piece; it’s for the total of all jewelry and watches.

MYTH

We don’t have anything worth inventorying.

REALITY

Anything you own that you can’t afford to replace without financial help is worth something! What is the amount of your coverage? Do you have those funds stashed away in case of a disaster?

MYTH

I’ll be able to remember everything.

REALITY

Try it. Close your eyes and list everything in the room. Don’t forget the items in closets and drawers.

I am not an insurance professional, but have discussed these issues with victims and insurance agents enough to be aware of the basics. Talk to your agent; ask these questions. If he or she is too busy, or won’t take the time to help you understand your policy, it’s time to find a new agent!

Cindy Hartman is President of Hartman Inventory, LLC, a business and home inventory service provider. She and her husband Mike are also owners of Hartman Inventory Systems, LLC, a company that provides assistance to entrepreneurs who want to establish their own home-based inventory business. http://www.HartmanInventory.com

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