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Here's a tip for helping with your personal property inventory using the information they store in their system. Call stores and financial institutions which you had a previous relationship with immediately to request purchase histories or copies of statements. Do this as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more of the pre-disaster purchasing history is lost. Some examples are:
  • Companies for which you have a frequent buyer card. Many companies keep detailed information on file for much longer than you would expect.
  • If you are a member at a warehouse store, ask them for a copy of your purchase history.
  • Call any company you have made a major purchase with and ask for receipts (and today’s full retail price).
  • If you purchased items online, many times that information will be stored in your account for quite a while as well.
  • Call your credit card company and/or bank and ask for back statements (or download them from their website and store them before they "disappear". Request a waiver for any fees due to the circumstances. If they will not budge, make sure to keep a record of the costs and claim it as part of your ALE coverage.
  • For major purchases charged to a credit card, the issuing bank can request a copy of the receipt from the company you purchased the item from.

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I can't thank you and the fire survivors group enough for what you provided me as well as countless others in this process. What I learned from you gave me the confidence to move forward. Especially with the insurance company. Knowing what to expect and how to build my case made me comfortable enough to proceed without waiting to see how insurance shook out.

Harris Fire Survivor, 2007