Customers buy insurance to minimize their risk and make themwhole should a covered loss occur. What many may not understand isthat a number of factors can cause their premiums to skyrocketbefore a covered peril even occurs. Adjusters and claims managershandling the ensuing claims also need to be aware of these possiblered flags and their impact on any settlements.

An up-to-date home inventory complete with photos can be a majorasset to any claim. Encourage owners to take a digital tour ofevery room to record furniture, electronics, antiques, worksof art, family heirlooms and other irreplaceable items in thehome. After a fire or major flood, it can be difficult to identifyvaluable items or their pre-loss condition.

The photos and a detailed inventory should be stored off-site ina safe deposit box or other secure location and copies provided tothe insurance agent to ensure they are added to the appropriatepolicy. Keeping them on the computer at home won't help if thecomputer is destroyed in a fire or stolen in a robbery.

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