Insurance Insight: Homeowners should keep an inventory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 20, 2002


This one goes in the category of those things we are planning to do when we get the time – making or updating a home inventory.

It may not sound like an exciting activity, but in the event of a calamity such as a fire, burglary, flood, or tornado, a current home inventory can save a lot of time, money and frustration in the insurance settlement process.

Take this test.

Sit down and try to make a detailed list of what is in each room of your dwelling. It is amazingly hard to remember all the “stuff” that accumulates – wall hangings, curtains, cookware, clothing, sports gear, jewelry, knick-knacks, rugs, clocks, etc.

Get the picture?

This weekend, go ahead and bite the bullet. Videotape or photograph each room and list major items on paper.

Record brand, model, date and amount of purchase, if possible (serial numbers are important on some items).

Also, saving receipts on big-ticket items is always a good idea.

For antiques and jewelry, written descriptions or appraisals are important. Do not forget the closets, and remember, even your attic may be full of valuables.

You can usually get a home inventory check list from your insurer.

These lists are great tools to help organize your records.

Finally, remember to update your inventory every year or so, and keep it in a safe location away from dwelling.

Taking the time to make and update your inventory now, can help you in working with your insurer later, in maximizing your recovery should you have the need.

MIKE WILLIAMS is a State Farm insurance agent with an office in LaPlace.