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If you reading this blog, it’s no secret to you that insurance companies do not like paying out on insurance claims. This, it seems, is especially true when dealing with claims for stolen property. Before your insurance carrier pays you for that Xbox or diamond ring, they usually demand proof that you actually owned it in the first place. The problem is, most of us do not have filing cabinets full of receipts for all of our possessions. How do you get your theft claim paid without having receipts?

My father really liked his proverbs and used to say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While we cannot always prevent the actual theft of property, we can prepare for that circumstance and prevent the insurance companies from denying your claim. My simple advice is that everyone should make an inventory of their personal property and keep it updated as you make new or larger purchases. With a digital camera, most people can take a photo inventory of their belongings in a few hours. After that, it’s a simple matter of maintaining the inventory and keeping it current when you buy or sell items.

I also suggest that everyone sign up for a cloud based data storage service such as Google DriveMicrosoft One Drive, or Apple’s iCloud to store their inventory. Each of these companies offer free service where you can store receipts and photos of your items that can be accessed from anywhere in the even the item is lost, stolen or damaged. I use Google Drive for this purpose because it has free unlimited storage of photos and I know if any of my possessions are lost, stolen or damaged, I can always prove what I owned and the condition of the item before the loss. This takes a big burden off of someone who just suffered a traumatic event and will help get claims paid quicker and more accurately.