Imagine it: A fire has significantly damaged or even destroyed your home. Thankfully, you have a good homeowners insurance policy that will help you replace the replaceable. But, how do you prove how much you’ve lost?
If you planned ahead, you could produce the receipt. You can get reimbursed for items without receipts, but having them will make the whole claim process go much more quickly and easily. And do you really need more hassles at a time like this?
Here’s a list of receipts to keep in a safe place, like a fireproof, waterproof safe or a safety deposit box. Or, scan them and keep them in an electronic file.
- Valuable electronics. Computers, televisions, stereo systems — our electronic devices are often some of the most expensive things we own.
- Appliances. These are big-ticket items — refrigerator, range or cooktop, dishwasher, washer/dryer, etc. And if you’ve upgraded since you moved into the home, your receipt may be the only proof that your fridge is a much pricier model than the one that was there before.
- Jewelry. The sentimental value behind your jewelry is irreplaceable, but with receipts, you can at least get reimbursed for its monetary worth.
- Furniture. You may have to refurnish a new home completely. Receipts can expedite the claim process, so you’re not sleeping on the floor.
- Sports or hobby equipment. Bikes, skis, power tools, gun collections — depending on the make and model, these can really add up.
- Significant home improvements. If you recently upgraded something major in your home (e.g., you gutted the bathroom and added luxury fixtures, or you replaced the flooring throughout your home), keep these receipts as well. They may have increased the overall value of your home.
As a general rule of thumb: If it cost you more than you can afford to lose — keep the receipt.
What if you can’t find the receipts? Photos of your home and possessions can work as a substitute. Also, appliance manuals and warranties are a good proof of ownership because they usually list the model and serial number.
This article orginally appeared on Frankenmuth Insurance. It’s also not just good advice for homeowners, but renters too. Renters should keep receipts and have a renter’s policy. Not convinced? Six questions about renter’s insurance can tell you if it’s right for you.