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Insurance Advisors' Newsletter
May 2015


The Importance of a Home Inventory 
Written by Susan Cormier for Insurance Advisors

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You may think you know exactly what's in your home, but you’d be amazed at how difficult it would be to create an inventory of items that you may have lost after a break-in, fire or other stressful event.

When you are stressed or in the midst of an unexpected situation, you probably will not be able to make a complete list of your personal property and its value. You probably will forget about items that were long ago tucked away in drawers and boxes, even if they are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.

That’s why a complete list – with accompanying values – of all of your personal property is so important. Without that, it will be really difficult to recoup all of your losses.

So what’s the best way to do a home inventory?  You can put it on paper or capture it with a video camera – or both. 

To get started, complete a thorough, written inventory of all your possessions. If possible, this should include the date of purchase and original cost, as well as serial numbers for TVs, computers and electronics. If you have any receipts, you can attach them to this list as well. 

To make this overwhelming task a little bit easier, we suggest you just do one room at a time. That way, you will be more likely to spend the required time to do a complete job, which includes going through closets and storage boxes.

If you have a video camera, you can use it to provide additional proof of your home and its contents. Recordings can also be used as evidence in cases of theft, fire or damage. 

Make sure you record all the rooms in your home, outside grounds, attic, basement and garage. Provide close-ups of the valuable items, such as artwork and jewelry, and zoom in on serial numbers. It’s also a good idea to add comments about some details that might not be visually apparent. 

Once you have that completed inventory done, make copies of both the list and the video (if you have one), and put them in various places outside your home, such as a locked filing cabinet at your office and even a bank safe-deposit box. 

At Insurance Advisors, we recommend updating your inventory on an annual basis. That’s about the only way you can guarantee that the new piece of art or that new expensive camera are included on future claims.

While this seems like a lot of work, there are resources available to help you, such as the non-profit Insurance Information Institute’s free online home inventory software – Know Your Stuff®. According to KnowYourStuff.org, the software makes creating and updating your home inventory easy and efficient. The institute also offers free, secure online storage that will give you access to your inventory anywhere, any time. 

Finally, if you don't have the time or desire to conduct an inventory yourself, there are companies specialize in taking inventories and maintaining complete records in case you need them to file a claim.

As always, if there’s anything Insurance Advisors can do to help, please give us a call at 720.210.9898.

The Hartford

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