If you had a burglary or fire in your home or apartment tomorrow, you wouldn’t want to rely on just your memory when filing a claim. The items you use everyday might come to mind quickly — but what about that set of silverware used on on special occasions?
An inventory of your household goods, in both words and pictures, is essential to getting all the benefits that are due you.
Here some tips on how to do this:
1) Photographs and videotape: You don’t have to be a professional photographer or cameraperson to do an inventory. Just take pictures or video of every room, wall to wall, floor to ceiling. Then take close ups of valuable items. Don’t forget the closets! When you are finished we are happy to keep electronic versions of clients records or you can keep then with a trusted friend or family member. Review the above every 2-3 years.
2) Sales receipts and appraisals: Keeping records such as these for high value or major purchases will insure you get the proper amount for these items. NOTE: jewelry, fine arts, firearms, and collectables have limited values unless the policy is endorsed.
3) Get organized: You could use a spreadsheet (Inventory Excel download) with serial numbers, purchase date, cost and item details, or if you are ready to take control of your inventory, Insurance Information Institute offers a free home inventory software that is wonderful. It walks you through the whole process, keeps it organized and backs it up. You can get it here .
4) Avoid the claim: One way to avoid a theft claim is to mark your items with an engraving pen with an identifying number or drivers license number. This is great for high theft items such as electronics, power tools, appliances, computers, etc. We can mail a pen to you for free and it will allow you engrave your items on hard surfaces permanently and quickly. It’s as easy to use as a pen! Burglars will not want marked items, and we provide stickers so they are aware its marked.
Taking these steps can make filing a claim mush less stressful and can speed up the time it takes to get paid on your claim.