Importance of having Household Inventory Records

If you had a burglary or fire in your home tomorrow, you wouldn’t want to rely on just your memory w...

brian walker menifeeIf you had a burglary or fire in your home tomorrow, you wouldn’t want to rely on just your memory when filing a claim. The items you use every day may come to mind quickly, but what about that set of silverware used only on special occasions?

An inventory of your household goods, in both words and pictures, is essential to getting all the benefits from your insurance policy.

Compiling a list of possessions can provide you and your insurance agent with a base for determining whether your homeowner coverage is sufficient. You may need to fill in the gaps or eliminate costly overlaps. Getting the full benefit of your insurance coverage is important if and when a claim may happen.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer or camera person to do an inventory of your possessions. Start by photographing or videotaping each room, wall by wall, floor to ceiling. Then take close-up shots of the valuables in each room. When you finish each room, go on to the closets, attic, garage and storage sheds. When you’re finished, write basic information on the back of the photos or include this information in the audio portion of your videotape.

Review your photo/video inventory every two to three years. Note changes in your possessions such as a new TV or couch you have reupholstered. Delete items you no longer own. Sales receipts help prove ownership and for recent purchases, they also establish the value of an article. Insurance companies do not expect customers to keep receipts for everything, but major purchases should be documented.

Secure your records in a safe place. Do not keep all of your inventory records at home! The inventory itself could be destroyed in case of fire or other household damage. Consider such locations as a safe-deposit box or the home of a relative. Safeguarding the value of your home and its contents may require investing a little time and money, but should you ever suffer a loss, you’ll have all the documentation you need to file and back up your claim quickly and easily.

Brian Walker is a Farmers Insurance agent in Menifee. Contact him at 27070 Sun City Blvd, Menifee, CA 92586, (951) 672-3476, or visit online: http://www.farmersagent.com/bwalker4

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