The field adjuster will complete a Content Inventory Form in the presence of the insured with their assistance. The field adjuster will never leave blank inventory forms for the insured to complete themselves. If the insured is supplied blank inventory forms the size of the claim will dramatically increase due to greed.
All inventory items will be fully described by brand, make and model. Please include the serial numbers on major appliances. Adequate photographs should be secured and should clearly depict the damaged items. Proper depreciation should be noted and in most cases, proper sales tax should be added at the rate, where the policyholder resides. Please note on the inventory form why an item is being replaced.
When reporting to the client – salvage and subrogation should always be commented on and followed to conclusion if necessary. Please keep in mind while handling contents claims that the items being claimed match the type size and quality of the risk.
Does this insured’s other possessions compare with the items being claimed?
Does the insured’s lifestyle support the quality and quantity of the items claimed?
If a large loss is being claimed the field adjuster may need to complete further investigation such as the following:
- Recorded Statements
- Neighborhood Canvass
- Check for Prior Claims
- Verify Police Report has been filed and secure copy
Compare items on police report and on inventory form you assist completing with the insured – if the two items do not have the same info the insured has to be instructed to file a supplement to the police report to verify and support your inventory for the purpose of proper recovery and to prevent the insured from overstating their claim.
While pricing out the inventory you have to verify prices with local stores or utilize a current database if the inventory is part of an estimating program being utilized to finalize the amount of the claim.
The insured can claim any replacement cost amount but it is the adjuster’s responsibility to properly document the cost. Current sale flyers and internet specials could greatly reduce the claim amount. Secure receipts to document age – cost – quality. If receipts are not available secure warranty books or owner’s manuals to assist in this documentation. Ask insured if they have any photos with the items in them – background photos of family shots will verify many items.
Verify the policy has RCC or ACV coverage for contents. Verify any items that may limit the amount of recovery by the policy.
Determine if the insured has scheduled items or a rider increasing coverages other than the base policy limits.
Verify that the type of loss being investigated is limited by the policy.
Example: jewelry limit applies to theft not fire losses.
Is the cause of the loss covered by the policy?
Example: on a HO-3 policy UPP is named peril and not all risk. Coverage for water damage from a leaky roof to UPP is not covered unless there is an opening in the roof covering or siding.