What if you lost it all?

Almost weekly we hear or read about someone’s experience of a tragic loss of their home or business due to an unforeseen disaster.  In this area it is often due to fire, but it could be a flood, or a storm like those experienced this past year throughout the prairie provinces.

When losses like this occur, it is not just about the house, it is more about the lost memories, photos, certificates, heirloom keepsakes and generally the “stuff” we cannot even remember was in there.  How about medically related items like equipment or prescriptions?  To make matters worse, few of us could list what we have now (without such a problem), never mind trying to remember under the anxiety of trauma due to the devastation of fire or flood.

We may think that we have only a few hundred dollars in clothes, some dishes and a few items like televisions, stereos and appliances.  Try to replace them and you discover quickly that those few hundred dollars are actually several thousand dollars.  Do you keep the receipts and serial numbers for these items?   Could you even try to list the collection of DVDs and CDs?  It is a time of grieving, the frustration and anxiety kicks in when you find that it is up to you to prove what was lost.  Your emotions can often turn to anger, depression or simply feeling all alone.

One local individual recently experienced a delay in his insurance process because he failed to produce a purchase date for certain items. Yes, it is all about details.  Usually, what do we all lack? …the details. Jim Smart of Pythe Navis Adjusters Corporation has been in this business for 26 years and has never seen a itemized inventory submitted with an insurance claim.  This is all too common.  How much easier would it be for the claimant if they had provided an complete inventory list?

After a disaster we have questions since we are out of our area of knowledge.  Are there legal requirements?  Time restraints or limits?  Are there forms to be filed?  Who do you need to contact? Should things have been taken care of differently?  How and where do you store important documents? During a power outage, how are you prepared?  What legal concerns might you have, before, during and after?  Is there a better way to put in a claim or to prepare to put in a claim?   

Submitted by: George Greenwood

“Keeping Your Identity Safe”