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How can I prove what I lost when I file a personal property insurance claim?

Obviously, the most difficult time to prove everything you have lost is after you have lost it. For that reason, it is vital to keep an up to date inventory of your personal property. It can help you file an insurance claim or document losses not covered by insurance. You may want to claim uncovered losses as a deduction.

List every item in your house and attach appraisals, receipts, model number or serial numbers for big-ticket items. Photograph or videotape every room and the contents of drawers and cupboards for back up. To prevent them from being lost or destroyed along with the property itself, keep your household inventory records at another location--like a relative's house or in a safety deposit box. Update annually.




Brenda Procter, M.S., Consumer and Family Economics, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia












If you'd like to learn more about this and other personal finance topics, the University of Missouri offers 'Personal & Family Finance,' a correspondence course, through the Center for Distance and Independent Study (800-609-3727). Information about this course is available at





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Last update: Monday, July 21, 2008




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