Knowing What You Have Before Disaster Strikes is Essential for an Easier Recovery

13 Sep

Whether that disaster is natural or otherwise, there are many things that could cause devastation throughout a home. While that is a depressing thought, it is no less true that misfortune happens in an instant.

Fortunately, Peninsula General Insurance wants people to know that preparation is key. After all, insurance companies can only insure what there is proof the client had. That is why taking inventory of a home is crucial to rebuilding your life after a loss of possessions. There are many ways to garner this proof. Here are a few of the most common ways:

Written Statement:
This method is the tried and true way. It is also the most time consuming, but it will pain the most accurate description of your possessions. This method involves going from room to room and writing down what is in each room. The items should be everything from televisions, game consoles, furniture and jewelry to clothing in the closets. If it is an item that you would need or want to replace should disaster strike, write it down. In addition to the item though, also include this information:

• Make/Model/Brand/Designer
• Approximate Value at Date of Purchase
• Serial Numbers
• Purchase Receipts (If Possible)

Taking photographs of each room takes less time and is still an asset if a disaster should arise. Here are some tricks to getting the photographs that are needed for a good depiction of your assets:

• Start at one point in the room and go clockwise. Take a picture at floor level, then the middle section, followed by the top section and finally the ceilings.
• Open drawers, cabinets, closets, and other areas where things may be hiding.

This includes looking under kitchen and bathroom sinks, pantries, office drawers, rugs, artwork, the garage, attic, and basement. Take photographed inventory of every inch of your home.

• Don’t forget to immortalize the tags, make, size, label, and serial numbers in the pictures.
• Put together a “safe box” which is waterproof and airtight. In this box, put jewelry, firearms, medication, eyeglasses, receipts, and doctor records.
• Place ID collars on your pets; especially cats.
• Store photos in the cloud so that they are always digitally available.

Video the Home:
Taking cinematographic inventory of the home is another idea that might be the easiest and quickest. However, when taking the video, also make sure to show the same information as the photos. The more information a person has, the better and easier it is for the insurance company to reimburse them.
To close, many people wait until there is a disaster looming to take stock of their possessions. That is if they take an inventory at all. PGI insists that the issue with waiting until the last minute is that sometimes, people do not know when the last minute is. While there are some disasters that have a warning, some do not. Fires and burglaries can happen in an instant and there is no way to foresee the danger. Therefore, it is important to be prepared long before that preparation is needed. Plus, if it is never needed (the best-case scenario) at least the homeowner knows their possessions are accounted for.

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