FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MOST AMERICANS HAVEN'T PROTECTED THEIR POSSESSIONS FROM SEVERE
Free app helps consumers create a home inventory,
before disaster strikes
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 13, 2012) — 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.
Creating a Home Inventory
The myHOME Scr.APP.book app lets users capture images, descriptions, bar
codes and serial numbers of personal possessions and stores the information
electronically for safekeeping. The app organizes information by room and
creates a back-up file for email sharing. To download the free app, go to
Market app stores and search "NAIC."
For those without a smart phone, the NAIC offers a downloadable home
inventory checklist and tips for effectively cataloguing your possessions.
Both are available at http://home.insureuonline.org.
Attention Established Families
“All renters and homeowners should develop a home inventory, and this is
especially important for established families with years' worth of family
possessions,” says McCarty. “Whether it is electronics, furnishings,
collectibles, jewelry or clothing, families need to know what they own and
how much it's worth.”
As kids grow, the average family's number of household possessions
increases, as well. Families should consider the following areas when
reviewing their home insurance needs:
- Electronics – The
standard $1,000 policy limit on electronics may not be sufficient to
replace multiple computers, MP3 players and tablets. Additionally,
many homeowners' policies do not cover items, such as laptops and
televisions, stolen from a dorm room; so families with children living
on or off campus should consider renter's insurance.
- Jewelry – Most
policies limit coverage for jewelry to $500, which typically is
insufficient to replace a favorite pair of diamond earrings, a wedding
ring or expensive family jewelry passed down from generation to
- Fashion –
Considering the amount of laundry in the hamper each week, many
parents realize the volume of clothing in the household is
significant. Replacing clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories for
today's fashion-conscious family can add up.
- Home Goods – Kitchen
appliances, workshop tools and sporting equipment also should be
included when creating a home inventory.
Disasters Happen, Be Prepared
Personal safety should always be paramount when considering the threat
of severe weather. Developing an emergency kit, identifying storm shelters
and gathering important phone numbers — including the 24-hour contact
information for your insurance agent and insurance company — are all
important preparedness steps. For more tips on preparing for severe storms
and other disasters, visit: http://www.insureuonline.org/insureu_special_disaster.htm.
to locate your state insurance commissioner, an unbiased resource for
insurance information specific to where you live.