Play it Safe....Take an Inventory
No one plans to lose their valuables and other belongings in a burglary, a fire or natural disaster.
One of these unfortunate events destroyed your home, would you be able to report exactly what you lost to the police, to the Internal Revenue Service or to your Independent Insurance Agency?
It’s easier to do an inventory of your home now rather than sitting down afterward and attempting to remember a lifetime worth of purchases.
Write down any valuable items with their serial numbers (usually found on the bottom or back of major appliances) along with the method of acquisition (purchased, inherited or received as a gift), date purchased and price or approximate value. Attach receipts, if possible.
Remember to include furniture, appliances, carpeting, jewelry, artwork, toys and contents of your closets, cabinets and drawers.
Play It Safe With A Video Tape....
Videotaping each room of your house can make taking inventories easier. Photographs and a tape recorder can substitute for a video camera.
A complete video inventory should contain verbal descriptions of major assets as well as their value. Remember your garage, attic, basement and the exterior of the house, plus your landscaping and fencing. If possible, make it a family project by having everyone take turns describing the objects in your home.
Store the video or photographs along with this inventory in a safe-deposit box and send a copy to a friend or relative.
Don't Forget Important Documents....
Extremely important documents should be photocopied. Keep one copy in your home and the original, where possible, in a safe-deposit box. Important items include, but are not limited to, the following:
House: Escrow, title, deed, insurance policy
Personal: Birth certificates, medical history, passports, insurance certificates, credit card numbers, will.
Automobile: Certificates of ownership, finance contracts, registration, insurance policy, drivers license.
Finance: Account numbers for checking and savings accounts, CDs, stocks, bonds, other significant investments.
Tax: Copies of the first two pages of your federal returns for the past 5 years. Complete returns with appropriate receipts and canceled checks should be kept in a separate file box.
A Final Note....
Most policies limit the amount of reimbursement for perils covered of valuable items, such as jewelry, furs, stamps, coins, silverware, fine arts and guns. If you have some particularly valuable items in these categories, you may need to purchase a personal articles policy. These types of policies cover each item individually and are usually quite inexpensive.
By inventorying your personal possessions ahead of time, you will save yourself from frustration should disaster strike.
Independent Insurance Agents of America