Less than 10% of policy holders know the value of their personal property. This can be a challenge in the event of a fire or tornado. I recommend to clients that they create a digital inventory of their property that will help them in times of disaster. It is easy to do and can be a valuable tool for you in the future.
Below, I will outline ten tips and guidelines to help you get your digital inventory completed. It takes less than an hour for most homes and will give you peace of mind at a time when it matters most.
- Start with the outside of your home. Film or photograph any outbuildings and fences you own. Don’t forget to get images of the yard equipment in the outbuildings or storage.
- Then photograph all exterior sides of your home. This will help document the condition and materials your home is constructed with.
- Now move into the garage. Make sure to open any cabinets or tool chest that may contain any tools you have. Skill saws, drills etc.
- Now move to each interior room. Start in the basement if you have one and work your way up. The point here is to have a process…top to bottom or bottom to top. Make sure to photograph 360 degrees. Usually, 4-6 shots gets this covered.
- Now move up from the basement up to the kitchen. Remember to open drawers and cabinets to show stored appliances.
- Move into the dining room and living rooms. Do not forget the laundry room.
- Now move into each bedroom. Remember to open any drawers that have Jewelry, guns or artwork stored. Remember to get Valuables appraised and scheduled separately on your Homeowners, Renters, or Condo Policy.
- Now finish up in the attic. Make note of Holiday decorations you may have stored.
- Now upload these images to the cloud for storage or transfer them to a flash drive and store at a friend’s home of bank deposit box.
- Set yourself a reminder to repeat this process in one year.
Now you can sleep knowing that if you ever need to produce an inventory of your personal property, you will have the visual and audio aid to help you. You will be amazed at what you might forget during a time of chaos after a tornado or fire has destroyed your most personal belongings.
Insurance can’t replace your items lost but it can help you financially rebuild your life. Your agent and adjuster will do everything they can to help, but you make things much more accurate by taking a few minutes each year to protect yourself.