How to inventory your personal property.
In my former Eleven year law enforcement career and first hand experience in operating a disaster restoration company, I have spoken with several Homeowners after a traumatic loss. Whether it was a loss due to Theft, Burglary, Fire or Natural Disaster, I noticed a common occurrence.
Sometime, immediately after being thankful that no one was harmed, the victims begin to mentally inventory what items were missing or damaged. Often times, walking through debris, picking up a broken statue or framed photo.
Within a short amount of time, a Police Officer and or Insurance Adjuster asks the question, “Can you tell me what was taken or damaged?”
Still in a state of shock, the Homeowner tries to provide a list. More often than not, the list is amended several times during the following weeks because the they just realized additional damaged or lost items.
Hopefully, no one reading this article will ever be in the situation described above. If you are, there are a few steps to take now that would assist you in documenting your belongings before the fact.
1. Complete a Property Inventory Form similar to the one offered on our website. This type of form allows you to list the Description, Serial Numbers, Purchase Price and Date of your belongings.
2. Obtain Appraisals for Jewelry and Collectibles.
3. Keep Receipts! Especially for the more expensive items.
4. Photograph valuable property.
5. Video! While recording, walk from room to room. Slowly complete a circle to capture all angles. Narrate to the camera to describe at least the higher valued items… “This is the Sony 55 inch TV listed on the property form”. Repeat the process in your garage and other exterior locations.
6. KEEP ALL OF YOUR LISTS and VIDEOS IN A SAFE PLACE!
7. Make a copy and keep it in a safe location away from your home!