Start With An Inventory List
The average home has approximately over 300,000 items. If a disaster such as a floor, fire, or theft were to destroy your home, would you recall all the detail necessary to provide a claim report to your insurance company?
In the event of a claim, insurers require you to substantiate your loss in as much detail as possible. “The last thing most of us want to do is spend a weekend documenting all our stuff. But almost as heartbreaking as losing a home to a disaster is trying to re-create a home inventory after the fact,” says Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
The prospect of cataloguing everything you own can be daunting, but technology can help. Check whether your insurer offers any software, smartphone apps or other tools to help with the process. Both Allstate and Liberty Mutual have free apps that let you create an inventory of your personal property. The Allstate Digital Locker even allows you to store your inventory in the cloud. State Farm has a home inventory checklist anyone can download.
Now get organized. Dig out every receipt you can. Locate the make, model and serial numbers for appliances and electronics, usually on the back or bottom. If you purchased that refrigerator 10 years ago during a Black Friday sale and tossed the receipt, it’s okay. Open the door and look inside for a plate with the identifying information. Note the data or snap a picture of it.
Then proceed room by room. The quickest method is to make a video. Stand in the center of a room and narrate as you record. Film the entire space, including every wall, the ceiling and floor. Describe every item and feature, such as hardwood flooring or that pricey light fixture, to the best of your ability. Some detail is better than nothing.
Once it’s finished, don’t let your inventory become part of the loss. The most complete home inventory is worthless if you can’t get to it. Store it in the cloud, iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. At a minimum, copy your files and any videos to a flash drive and give it to a friend or relative in another town, store it in a safe-deposit box, or email the file to yourself.
Are you already working through your own disaster? Call SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna at 916-525-1241 to help you through this time. SERVPRO's employees have been trained to help and assist you during this time. It can be an overwhelming time - SERVPRO will help you!