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A Lesson Learned

There is always something that comes along in life that will end up frustrating us because we should have known better. We could have, should have and would have done the right thing, but for some reason or other we didn't follow through. When this happens, it hopefully will be a lesson learned that will change us forever.

A simple little thing happens. A lightning strike comes a little too close to your home. The thunder shakes the walls. The lights stay on but the television goes out. Not too bad you may think. After the fear has subsided, you start looking around. Starting with the attic, you check to make sure that the lightning strike did not hit your home directly to cause a fire. All is well so you move on.

You begin to notice that it's getting warm. Looking at the thermostat you realize the central air conditioning isn't working. After trying a few things, you now know that the lightning has damaged your central air conditioning. Moving around you start to see that there is extensive damage done to appliances, stereo systems, surround sound systems, family entertainment centers and computers. The refrigerator is no longer working and the dishwasher is dead.

These are real things that happen to innocent people like you and me. The biggest issue here is that almost every year, manufacturers change their designs and the products that you bought are no longer available. Here comes the lesson. Do you have your receipts for these items? Can you prove you own them and how much you paid for them? This is what your home owner's insurance agent is doing to want to know.

This whole issue can be resolved by going to each store and asking for written estimates for a comparable product. This is not so horrible, just time consuming. Some things are more difficult, especially when they are very old. Then there is the vendor who will not give you a written estimate.

In the end, the situation will be resolved. The lesson learned is to keep your receipts. The original receipts are good to have, but often they fade because of the type of paper and printing used by stores. The best thing to do is to keep the original, make a copy of the original, and staple both to the product manual. Of course, then keep all of the products manuals in one, safe place.

Regardless of the age of the product, never throw out the receipts or product manual as long as you are still using the product. As long as you have home owner's insurance that covers personal property, these items will always be insured. Having the receipts to prove what you paid will help you get the same comparable item regardless of cost.

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