Documentation – Your Best Friend During A Claim

Stuart Clark – Claims Manager at Beehive Insurance Agency

Many years ago I restored a 1965 Volkswagen Bug. I was young and living at home at the time so I had no better way to spend my money. Then on Christmas Day 1983 my vintage Bug was stolen. I am glad that I had full auto coverage on my car but it was still a major ordeal to file a claim and attempt to recoup the money that I had invested in the car. The insurance company played hardball and refused to reimburse me for my investment. They could not believe that an 18 year old kid could spend so much on a car that only cost about $1,500 new. After many frustrating telephone calls I flooded the claims adjuster with documentation of all of the work that was done on the car. I supplied copies of all receipts and random photographs that had been taken by friends and family during the restoration. It was only then that he started to understand the work and money that had gone into the vehicle. Did he pay me for what the car was worth? Of course not. He didn’t even come close. But with the documentation I was able to get him to more than double the original offer that he made for my car. Now I adjust claims for a living and I believe that you can never have too much documentation. Take time to photographically document your home, business, vehicles and all other belongings. Digital photos are better than video as they can be enlarged for better detail and they take less space to store on a disc or thumb drive. When possible, take photos of serial numbers of electronics as this will help identify the items if they are ever stolen. When you have the photos downloaded from your camera, do not only store the photos on your computer. Save them to a disc and store them in a location that will be safe from fire, moisture and deletion. If you are ever in an auto accident, use your cell phone to document the scene and all of the vehicles and individuals involved in the accident. It is also easier to take a cell phone photo of the other driver’s license and insurance card than it is to write the information down. Take photographs of everything you think might be relevant. As I have stated above, you can never have too much documentation. Just as a follow up, they found my Bug three weeks after it was stolen. It was in an alley about 30 miles from where it was stolen and it was stripped clean. I am certain that those that stole it got more money for it than I did. Documentation – There’s an App for that! The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has an app to make documenting your belongings even easier. Download the app at the following links: MyHome for iPhoneMyHome for Android

Request a Quote

Call 801-685-6860 or fill out the form below to get started or start a conversation. 

Related Posts