It’s safe to say that your home and everything in it is important to you. That’s why I want you to take 10 minutes to make an inventory of what’s in your home which you can use in the event of an insurance claim. You may think this is a monumental task that can’t be done in 10 minutes, but keep reading to see just how easy this can be.
California has experienced devastating wildfires in each of the past 5 years. Many homeowners who have lost their homes in these fires will tell you that dealing with an insurance claim after the fire can be overwhelming. There is one simple thing you can do to prepare to make this process much easier, and you can do it in as little as 10 minutes. My goal is to help as many people as possible to document their home inventory before they have an unexpected loss
Many of you may have never had an insurance claim before. When you do have an insurance claim where you have lost personal property, you will be asked to provide a list of what you’ve lost. It’s statically rare to have a total loss to your home, but if you’re unfortunate enough to go through a total loss, you’ll quickly realize that you just don’t know where to start when asked to provide a list of what you lost. The larger the loss the more difficult this can be, but even in the event of a smaller claim, like a theft, you will have an easier time doing this if you have an inventory of what you own.
Creating a list of everything you own can seem like an overwhelming task in itself. Not knowing how or where to start can keep you from making this list. You can do this today if you simply use your smart phone to take video and still photos of every room in your home.
While taking a few pictures can be of some help, I’ve got a better idea that might seem a little awkward at first. Walk through every room in your home taking video. Slowly view each room from all angles. Don’t be in a hurry. It’s important to open drawers, cabinets, and closets. Don’t worry about cleaning up before doing this as you will not be sharing this with anyone else, and you want to capture what is inside all of those closed doors.
Even the most basic homeowner insurance policy can cover you for loss to hundreds of thousands of dollars of your person property. By slowly and methodically taking video and still pictures of everything you own, you can use these visual references to help you make a list in the future when needed.
We are accustomed to taking pictures of interesting things, so it can seem strange to take pictures and video of the ordinary or mundane, but that’s what you will need when creating your video inventory. Here is a small list of personal property that can be replaced by your homeowner insurance policy that you otherwise might not consider for your video inventory:
If you have large collections of certain items, you may want to further document those in an online spreadsheet. This can be helpful with everyday collections like CD’s or DVD’s.
I’ve created a short instructional video to give you some idea of what you should be doing around your home when you create your own video inventory.
It can be viewed here:
In the past it was difficult to know where to store a video tape or physical photos for this purpose, because you want to be certain that you don’t lose them in the same fire that might destroy your home. Fortunately if you’re reading this electronic blog you probably have access to free or reasonably priced cloud storage. Think of this as your digital safe deposit box. There is no need to edit the video with costly or time consuming software because you will probably never show this to anyone but yourself. This is your video inventory.
Don’t wait. Do this today. It’s probably something you’ve thought about and didn’t know where to start, or how to finish, but now you do. If it takes you more than 10 minutes, I want to hear about it. Having this visual reference will help you in a very difficult time.