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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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Without your encouragement, I would certainly have been too discouraged to pursue our settlement with the insurance company. Wow! What a mistake that would have been!

Harris Fire Survivor, 2007