The Importance of Itemizing Personal Property

How Properly Inventorying Personal Property Can Expedite The Claims Process.

If your home has been damaged by a flood, fire, windstorm or any other disaster, it will be critical for you to provide your insurance company with a detailed description of your loss.

If you wait until after a catastrophe has hit to inventory your valuables, and put together a detailed list of your possessions...you may find the task extremely stressful. With some advance planning and your cell phone, you can make the inventory process a breeze. It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the insurance world, detailed descriptions are also critical. Here are some tips on how to inventory the contents of your home, without losing your mind.

  1. Before starting. Get organized. Make a list of valuables, room by room. Make sure to write down a brief description for each object you will inventory. For example, if your smart T.V. was bought in 2016 and cost $1500, make sure you note that on your list, along with the brand name and the place of purchase. Also, gather any and all receipts for items you have purchased. Scan them into your computer or keep them tucked away in a filing cabinet. These receipts will come in handy during the claims process.
  2. Once your list is completed, venture into each room. Some items will be readily available to photograph/video, others might not. Take the objects/items that are put away in closets or that are out of sight and arrange them neatly on a uncluttered surface. Once you have your list and your items are organized, you can quickly take a video of each item, while giving a brief description of the objects. If itemizing the entire house in one day seems too much of a challenge, do one room a day.
  3. Speak clearly and be concise. This might be self-explanatory but, it is an important step that should not be overlooked. It is important to also state the date, time and where you are in the home while conducting the video.
  4. As previously mentioned, you also must make a habit of keeping your receipts. For items that are heirlooms and no receipts are available, give a detailed description of the item and research the value online.

An itemized list of your belongings along with video footage is the best way to prepare for an insurance claim. Do not wait until disaster strikes! As you purchase additional items, add them to your list and take additional videos. In the event of a loss, DO NOT DISCARD destroyed/damaged property. If possible, put it aside for your insurance company to inspect following the reporting of your claim.

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