Posted on 28 Mar 12
Right now, thousands of homeowners are cleaning up and filing insurance claims following an outbreak of devastating tornadoes across the U.S. However, according to a February 2012 survey from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), more than half of Americans don't have a home inventory of their possessions, putting them at risk for inadequate home insurance coverage, should severe weather strike.
The recent survey revealed 59 percent of consumers have not made a list or inventory of their possessions. Of those individuals with a home inventory, 48 percent do not have receipts; 27 percent do not have photos of their property; and 28 percent do not have a back-up copy of the inventory outside the home.
Additionally, 59 percent of people with inventories have not updated their inventories in more than a year, meaning new purchases and gifts may not be covered.
"Violent weather events affected approximately 80 percent of the nation's population over the past six years. These storms have left widespread destruction in their wake," says Kevin M. McCarty, NAIC President and Florida Insurance Commissioner. "Creating a detailed inventory of your possessions is one the best ways to ensure you have the right amount of homeowners or renters insurance for you and your family."
Last year alone, severe weather disasters across the country inflicted more than $43 billion in damage. The NAIC myHOME Scr.APP.book application makes it easier for consumers to document their valuables, update their inventories and store the information for easy access after a disaster. The app is free and available for both iPhone® and Android® smart phone users.
Before severe weather strikes, consumers can use their inventory to evaluate their coverage and determine if they need to update their policies. It's important to know that how much is reimbursed varies greatly from policy to policy. On average, home contents are reimbursed only up to 50 percent of the home's insured value, i.e., $50,000 to replace the contents of a home insured for $100,000.