If my house, contents, records, and receipts of all personal belongings have been 100% destroyed by a total fire loss, how do I adequately make a claim for compensation for personal property replacement?

Without all of your documentation to support your claim, the process can be quite difficult. You will need to recreate a home inventory from memory, which often leaves out important items. If you find yourself in this situation, you can mentally walk through your home room by room to recreate the list of items. You can also ask friends and family who might have pictures of your home to send those to you – they can help you identify furniture and other personal property. Lastly, you can check your online bank and credit card statements. Most will keep statements going back 12-18 months, which can help you with values of items you purchased during that time period.

The difficulty of recreating all this information from memory is why we recommend you create a home inventory in advance and have it backed up in an offsite location. You can either leave an electronic copy in a safe deposit box or you can back it up on the cloud, where you will always have access, no matter where you are. We recently published a blog post about home inventories that you might find helpful.

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