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Make a List, Check it Twice!

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You’ve heard of retail stores taking inventory, but have you ever considered the necessity of taking inventory of your house?

Not long ago, one of my roommates came home to find our back door busted open—our apartment had been broken into. There were things obviously missing:  the TV in the living room, a treasured piece of jewelry, a laptop.

The police said some things would be more difficult to recover without a serial number or exact make and model—I didn’t have the serial number to my TV and I certainly couldn’t have told you the exact make and model.

Home inventory lists are useful tools for tracking not only the valuable contents of your home, but also those intricate details (like the exact make and model of my tv—c’mon, could you remember that without looking either?) that go along with them.

There were other, less obvious things that I didn’t even realize were missing until the police recovered them with the rest of our things. The external hard drive for my laptop? I don’t think about that until I need to back up my photos and documents once every few months. It wasn’t as glaring as the now empty space where the TV once was, but it, too, had been taken.

Or maybe it isn’t theft but a kitchen fire that gets out of control and destroys part of your home, including your brand-new appliances.

Keeping a home inventory list will help take some of the stress away in situations like these. With the holidays just behind us—did Santa bring you a new gizmo or gadget? —now is a great time to create or update your lis

While inventory lists can range in complexity, the most basic items you will want to capture include a physical description, make and model, serial number and the price you paid. Here is one example you can download as is or use as a template to create your own.

You might also consider recording a home inventory video. This is complementary to a list in that it captures a visual record in addition to the details on your list. Something as simple as a quick walk around your home with the video camera on your smart phone will do the trick!

And while you’re at it, think beyond your primary home. Take inventory in any rental or vacation homes you own, your child’s college dorm room or apartment, the family RV—if you have valuables in any of these places, get them on your list and captured on video!

Contact your Personal Lines Risk Consultant if you have questions or need assistance with your own home inventory list or video.