Keeping Your Personal Property Inventory

By Louis Tranquilli, Financial Advisor

This helpful idea unfortunately comes from a hard lesson learned by someone I know who lost their home to fire damage. After hearing of this, I took some time to go on the internet and look for a website that could store information about the items we keep in our home.

In just a few simple steps, we all could have had a much easier time dealing with an insurance company unwilling to pay for items we state are in our homes and lost to a fire. A claim can be a very emotional, stressful, and complex experience. Attempting to remember all your personal possessions at the time of a claim can be an impossible task.

When you are preventative and have a catalog of your items before anything happens, it provides peace of mind and can be a huge relief if a claim occurs. Preparing yourself with a documented catalog of your Personal Property can increase the chances your claim will be handled in a quicker, fair, and more organized manner. If you take the time to be proactive and itemize your possessions, it is one less thing to do during this difficult time.

It’s suggested we all keep a backup inventory in a safe place both on and off-premises. This way, if your home burns down and/or your possessions are stolen or damaged (due to a covered peril), you’ll have proof of your personal property in a secondary location.

There are a couple of simple “how to” methods of taking inventory of your possessions.

Use your smart phone to take pictures, and then store those pictures on a site such as Shutterfly. It’s recommended that each room be a separate “file” of pictures.

Use your smart phone to video the contents of your home, including your cars and your jewelry or other items you keep at home that are of high worth and replacement value.

Don’t leave out important documents like Wills, Powers of Attorney or even the Title/Deed to your home. Take Pictures of these as well and store them on a website like Drop Box. You could even do something as simple as emailing the pictures to yourself and creating a folder on your email account labeled “Home Inventory.”

There’s even a free site from the Insurance Institute you can use to keep your inventory.