When catastrophe strikes, will you be prepared for your insurance claim? Workplace or hobby – what do you have and what is it worth? In the event of a fire, flood, theft or other natural disaster, would you be able to recall from memory everything you own in your home or business? Would you be able to provide proof of ownership and value to substantiate your insurance claim? After the fact can be a challenging time to reconstruct this information. Emotional distress can cloud memories and disastrous events can destroy records.
When planning your estate, an inventory of your personal property can be both a valuable tool and a comfort to your family, heirs and executor. Insurance documentation and estate planning are but two of many reasons you should have a complete, up-to-date personal property inventory safely stored outside your home or business. We all know this is a good idea, but few have taken the time to get it done.
How much time and effort does it take to compile a proper inventory? That is really dependent on how much stuff you have and especially the amount of collectibles and valuable pieces you might have acquired. A professional with the right equipment and software can inventory an average home in three to four hours.
You will need to be present to provide some guidance and details on specific pieces, but they do the bulk of the work. If you have heirloom pieces or special collectibles, you can usually provide a narrative detailing the history and value of the pieces. All of this can become extremely important when trying to settle a claim with your insurance company. The inventory can also be used proactively with your insurance company to make sure those valuable items are properly covered. They may require a special rider. Better to know in advance instead of being upset and disappointed after a loss. When it is all finished you typically have a video along with a detailed listing that can be stored in a safe place and updated as needed.
HomeServicesLink recently located a local vendor providing this service that has spent several years in the fire and water restoration business. He has experienced the pain and agony homeowners went through trying to fairly settle an insurance claim from a disaster without adequate documentation of their belongings. He decided this was a needed service for the Greater Cincinnati area. We have recently partnered with him, making the service available to our client members. Let us know if you would be interested in learning more or actually having your home inventoried. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.