How (& Why) To Take Photos Of Your Home Before A Disaster Strikes: 10 Tips That Will Help You With Your Homeowners Insurance Claim.

Why To Take Photos Of Your Home (And Vehicles) Before A Disaster

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Most of the time people are taking photos AFTER a hurricane, a flood, a tornado or earthquake. By then it is too late to adequately get an a complete home inventory portrayal. Photos will make it easier to substantiate any losses for tax reasons or insurance claims (or, hopefully not, your FEMA or legal proceedings to fully recover your insured amount).

By just taking a few minutes you will be able to provide a more complete and accurate inventory list to your insurance agent. An additional bonus is you will ‘remember’ all those various items that are tucked away or long forgotten.

Additionally, your homeowners insurance pictures of both the interior and exterior of your home demonstrates the level of quality you have invested. These pictures can confirm that you have real wood floors or solid wood doors or custom hall archways, teak patio furniture, a screened-in porch, etc.

In short, one hours worth of work can earn you thousands of extra dollars from your insurance claim.

A home inventory can be fast and easy to complete. You can either use video or your camera.

1. Video Your Home Inventory: When you take a video, you’ll verify everything you have in your home. Simply start at one end of your home, open all drawers and provide an audio narrative explaining each item so your insurance company can understand. This video doesn’t have to be professionally your smart phone video option will do the trick. Make sure they are date and time stamped.

2. Home Inventory with Photos: Your camera or smart phone can also be used to document and verify all of your possessions for insurance purposes. Take more pictures than you think you will need and make sure they are date and time stamped.

10 Tips That Will Help You With Your Homeowners Insurance Claim.

You may like, “Hurricane Preparedness Checklist – 10 Most Important Tips For Family Hurricane Safety.

1. Exterior Home Inventory Photos: Take at least four pictures of your home’s exterior from all four corners plus four additional pictures of the front, back and both sides.

2. Exterior Features: Be sure to include extra photos of your landscaping, pools, trees, bushes, fencing, sheds and similar structures or improvements for your records.

3. Garage Photos: We all have ‘stuff’ tucked away in our garages that we haven’t thought about in years but have value. This can include power tools, car parts, family memorabilia and much more.

4. Interior Photos: Shoot all four corners of each room. Be sure to include the ceiling and light fixtures as well as the floor to indicate what kind of covering it has.

5. Receipts:  For more valuable items, if you have time, show the receipt next within your photo. In example, if you just bought a big screen TV for $900, show the TV and the receipt in the same picture. Same goes for jewelry.

6. Take Clear Pictures: Try not to move. If the room is dark try using a flashlight. If you have a camera flash, watch out for reflection from mirrors.

7. Closets and Drawers: Open closet doors to show the what is inside including all clothing, shoes and storage boxes. When taking pictures of the insides of drawers, fan out your contents so you can see everything.

8. Jewelry Photos: Use a dark cloth as a background for silver, China or jewelry. Take pictures of both sides of each item to show the model number or pattern name.

9. Valuable Documents: You may have time to just grab all your valuable documents, but you still may forget some as well. Open up your file drawers and at least show the folders that have names.

Now – upload your pictures to the cloud – Dropbox, Microsoft Cloud, iCloud, Google Drive, etc., – before the storm

10. One More Thing:  Don’t forget to include the camera that you have been using as part of your photo inventory.

Bonus Tip: Set an annual reminder using Google Calendar or similar program. In this way you can always have current photos.

Bonus Tip: This process will provide you insight into if you should buy additional homeowners insurance.

Bonus Tip: Take interior and exterior photos of your car, truck, motorcycle, RV, boat, airplane or other vehicles as well.

You may like, “Hurricane Preparedness Checklist – 10 Most Important Tips For Family Hurricane Safety.