When misfortune strikes in a fireor auto accident, your homeowner'sor auto insurance stands ready tohelp pay for the damages. Probably.Sometimes, however, you and yourinsurance company may disagree onhow much you should be paid. Ithelps if you can document the valueof the items that were lost. Receiptsplayers, and furniture can be a bighelp, along with photographs, oreven videotapes. Keep these documentsin a secure place outside yourhome (eg, in a safe deposit box). Ifyou're in a car accident, make sureyou get police department reportsand estimates from independentbody shops—not just the one yourinsurer sends you to.