With all the storm damage and devastation that has recently happened across our country, I thought it would be a good idea to share a quick and easy way to keep track of all of your personal belongings in the event something catastrophic happens.
My experience has been that most people miss this vital inventory and the results can be devastating! Don't let this happen to you.
You need to complete a Household Inventory. Doing so allows you to keep a record of what you own, simplifying the process of sorting through damaged items after the storm should you need to file a claim.
Taking inventory can be tedious, but if you ever have a fire or a break-in, you'll be glad you have a record of what you own. Make sure you are keeping track of:
- The value of each of your possessions, room by room.
- Serial numbers wherever possible.
- Support this inventory record with photos or video.
While conducting your Home Inventory, you will want to move from room to room recording the value of each of your possessions. Examples of ways to complete your Home Inventory include:
- Notepad and camera - as you take photographs, write down the details of each item.
- Video camera - this is an easy method because you can narrate the details of each item while videotaping.
- Personal computer - personal finance software packages often include a home inventory program.
While Conducting Your Home Inventory, Don't Forget:
- Make sure you record the contents of closets, drawers and cabinets. The value of little things can add up quickly
- Store all lists, photographs and videotapes in a safe place off the premises. It is a good idea to keep back-ups as well.
- Update your home inventory. After making a significant purchase, be sure to add the information to your home inventory while it is still fresh in your mind.
- Keep all receipts, especially for big items such as jewelry, furs and collectibles.
We recommend that you place this inventory in a safe place outside of your home. Your insurance agent should be happy to scan a copy of the inventory into your customer file.
Of course we never want to be the victims of these natural disasters and bad weather, but it is inevitable, and the best thing we can do is be prepared.