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The loss of personal possessions comes with not only the emotional toll of losing cherished possessions, but also the economic burden of replacing necessary items and furnishings. This information should help you understand how contents claims work and avoid costly mistakes.

FAQs about your lost contents

  • A schedule of loss (“SOL”) is a list of all of the personal contents damaged or destroyed by the loss. It includes descriptions, quantities, and values. It may be created by the homeowner, the insurer, or a third party assessment firm. Regardless of who creates the list, the homeowner should be critical and make adjustments where necessary.

  • The “Actual Cash Value” or “ACV” of an item is its worth at the time of the loss. Items depreciate over time, so while a sofa may have been valued at $800.00 when it was purchased, it will only be worth $400.00 after 5 years of wear and tear have elapsed.

  • The “Replacement Value” is the retail cost of replacing an item on the market today.

  • Yes, but you shouldn’t do so unless absolutely necessary. If an item is irreplaceable and leaving it in place will lead to further damage, you should remove the item. Carefully document any items you remove, and inform the insurer as soon as practicable. Remember that the Insurer may want to inspect the item, so safeguard it but don’t start restorations until they have had a chance to make an inspection request.

  • Generally, the insurer is entitled to attempt to restore or clean your personal contents. If the items are irreparable, or if the costs of repair or cleaning would be more than the cost to replace the item, you should discuss the matter with your adjuster.