Taking Pictures of Damaged Contents
As Part of a Contents Claim for Insurance
Purpose - Documenting condition at the time of loss
Photographs document the condition of your property, at the time of the photograph. It is important to obtain pictures and images as soon as possible after the damage occurs. Among other things, properly selected photos will show:
- Condition at the time of the loss
- Whether repair is possible, or reasonable
Images from before the loss may also demonstrate condition and wear, and will affect the calculation of
and the reimbursable value by the insurer.
Some hints on photos, images or pictures:
These suggestions on photos may assist in the documentation of a claim for damages of contents:
- Confirm the expectations for photograph quality, quantity and format with your adjuster, insurance agent and insurer representatives
- Take the photo as close to the time of loss as possible
- Take photos of each room, before you move things, showing the room contents in the place where they were damaged. Confirm with your insurer, adjuster and agent that you are going to move and segregate damaged property -- they may want to see the damaged property before it is moved
- Number each item on painters tape with a wide/dark marker
- Photograph each item just after you move it, or go back and photograph each item after a collection are segregated.
- Log the item and photograph. If you have help, assign one person to do all the logging and photography
- Unless you have some specialty item, use the smallest image size: I suggest digital photos with 640x480 pixels, with medium or high compression and color density so that your images are 25-100kBytes, each. Note: If you have sufficient storage, high quality, large files may make sense, but be prepared to convert them to smaller sizes, on request. Simple, free software is available.
- If the thing has special detail, a higher quality, or unique color or damage, take one or more close ups, and/or photograph it from additional perspectives. Consider low compression, high pixel photographs, in these cases.
- While you're at it, see if you have pictures of the items in your photo collection in their undamaged condition.
Remember to protect your property from further damage
You have an obligation to
mitigate your damages -- even if you didn't have insurance or another person liable for your damages, it would be wise to protect your things from further damage. Photographs can help document mitigation: take pictures of your property after you have moved it to a place where is safe from further damage.
For more information on how to prepare for an insurance claim, or assistance in the adjustment of insurance claims, please contact
at the address or phone number, below.