Unless you’ve read over your insurance policy with an especially keen eye, you probably don’t associate the word “content” with anything in your home. But understanding what content means is important because of the impact content-related concerns can have on your home in the event of damage. As you read, we encourage you to make note of any specific questions so you can discuss with your insurance agent. He or she is your best resource to understand what all of this information means for you.
What is Content?
Generally speaking, content is anything that would fall out of your house if it were turned upside down and shaken out. Content is everything from collectibles to artwork, appliances to furniture. Clothes, holiday decorations, dishes, silverware – it’s all content.
What Isn’t Content?
The stuff that isn’t content is generally considered structure. Structure includes the walls, floors, stairs, and other elements of your home that are held in place at the structural level.
Content In Context
So why does it matter whether something is content or structure? Well, for day-to-day living in your home, it isn’t all that important. But if you experience any kind of water or smoke damage to your home which impacts either contents or structure, that can change quickly.
As restoration specialists, Mammoth does a lot of work with both content and structure, and the two have to be handled very differently. Content, because it can be moved, is often (but not always) cleaned at our state of the art facility. In order to make that happen, our team comes to the home and does a procedure called a “pack-out”, where everything is carefully inventoried, documented, and packed for transport. Once at our facility, it’s unpacked, cleaned, re-packed, and then brought back to the home. In some cases content can be cleaned in the home without a need for the pack-out – it just depends on the situation.
Structure, in contrast, has to be cleaned on-site because it can’t be moved offsite. Mammoth has a variety of tools that allow us to achieve great results, including everything from specially formulated solvents and cleaners to equipment for cleaning and deodorization.
Now that you know what’s content and what’s structure in your own home, you’re in a great position to work with your insurance agent and make certain that you’ve got enough coverage in your policy for the real value of your belongings.
It’s very common to underestimate the true value of the content in your home. Think about everything you have, consider its true worth, and talk with your insurance agent to be sure you’ve got the coverage you really need.