Whether you rent or own a home or condo, you probably have an idea in mind of the value of all your personal possessions. you are probably wrong. Did your mental inventory account for that old jewelry you never wear or the stack of music CD’s you have accumulated? In the event of a loss, you need a sound, comprehensive inventory to document your claim and the aftermath of a fire, flood, earthquake or theft is not a good time to be trying to remember what power tools you had in garage. Creating a household inventory is tedious, but there are tools to help you document what you own for your Washington Homeowners Insurance claim.
“ The complete inventory, including photos, may be one of the most valuable investments for peace of mind we will ever make for ourselves and our families. if a catastrophic event disrupts our homes and surroundings, a home inventory will eliminate the need to piece that information together in the aftermath of the event.” Gail Haubrich, FEMA individual assistance housing supervisor
You can write a simple inventory list by hand. Go room by room and document every items of value. If you don’t have a receipts or product information for an item, you can write down information about when and where you bought it. Make a separate listing of special items – jewelry, art work or collectibles.
There are many sites online that provide paper forms for household inventory and if you are comfortable using a computer, the Insurance Information Institute offers a free inventory program. Your digital camera or camcorder can also be used to create a supplementary visual record of your possessions.
Make copies of your inventory whether you use paper, software or pictures. Keep at least one copy outside your home in a safe location. If you keep a copy in your home, considering getting a small insulated safe, or put a paper copy of your inventory in a freezer bag and tuck it away in your freezer. The insulation will offer some protection in the event of fire and is large enough to locate in other catastrophic situations.
This all seems like a major effort, but if you take a little time now to inventory what you own, if a worst case scenario does occur, you will be in a position to work quickly toward rebuilding.