If you are like most people, when it came time for the
purchase of homeowners insurance, it was probably tied to the purchase of your
Your agent used some figure based upon some formula and told
you what your personal property value totaled. All based upon the purchase price
of your home.
With excitement of the approaching closing, this was one of
the last details to satisfy the flood of demands for the closing.
You may have had a few items carrying separate policies like
your diamonds, or your Great Grandmothers broche.
Now consider this…..
Your contents are not like the national statistic used to
calculate your premiums, and you have been over paying for years.
You were exactly like the statistics, but have never updated
your policy to reflect all the purchases made since inception.
Regardless of the category you fall within……..two
Does your coverage match your contents?
Could you list for your insurer all of your possessions, if they were no
longer visible because of loss?
Statistics from the National Insurance Industry show that
less than 20% of homeowners have an updated home inventory record.
Homeowners with a documented home inventory typically
collect more when submitting an insurance claim.
Do you have a regularly updated home inventory?
company offers two computer programs to document personal property for
homeowners and renters.
Disaster Assurance Basic or
Inc. can provide you with software for a complete written and digital
photographic record of your home and contents.
Insurance companies will generally try to be helpful in
paying a claim, but it still remains your responsibility to
what you say you’ve lost and having a photographic and written record of these
items will certainly help to process the claim faster and can be used to
identify those items when they are found in the case of theft.
All insurance companies want you to have a prepared inventory
of your property and provide records and documents of your lost property that
justify the figures for your claim.
Our software’s written and photo
documentation will be very strong evidence to support your claim.
Better than that, the insurance company can retain a digital copy in their
possession. When you make purchases that influence your home inventory
value…..just digitally send them a new copy. It’s easy to do, and you’ll
always be current.
If your personal possessions were destroyed, damaged or
stolen, could you prove both ownership and value?
You need an inventory!
Protecting a home and home insurance investment involves a
fair amount of careful work. It's a big task, but it's a necessary one and a
home inventory is easily done with Disaster Assurance Basic or
Did you know? (From Sentry Safes)
from the National Crime Industry show that over 6,000,000 burglaries occur each
year in American homes, that's one every 10 seconds. The typical burglar
will spend less than 5 minutes in a home and knows what to take before most home
alarm companies ever act.
Statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency, shows that 74% of all
structure fires occur in residential properties. That's one every 82 seconds in
the US. The loss figures total in 1999 was $5,092,000,000, a 16% increase over
1998. However, the numbers of fires did not change that much, but the dollars
lost did due to the increase value of our personal property at home."
Taking an inventory of all items in your home is an important part of maintaining
control over your home ownership.
Documentation will determine compensation if and when it comes time to place
an insurance claim. The burden will be on you to prove that items existed and
that they had certain values based on their purchase prices and on their ages
and conditions at the time of loss.
First of all, it gives you a complete picture
of your personal property, the value of which can be totaled and is a component
of your current net worth.
Secondly, a comprehensive home inventory is important
should you ever have an insurance loss. Keeping the inventory up to date, and
having photographs to accompany it, should save you a great deal of time and
money should you need to report a loss to your insurance company.
Once you have completed your home inventory, make 2 or more copies. File one
copy with your important housing papers at your home. File a second copy with
A home inventory is a complete and detailed list of all the personal property
located in your dwelling, or stored in other structures like garages and tool
sheds on your property. The inventory should include your possessions as well as
items owned by individuals who are also insured under your homeowners policy,
such as family members, other household residents, and domestic employees. You
should prepare an inventory whenever you move into a new dwelling and update it
periodically (say once every six months) to keep track of new and discarded
Why do it?
Total recall of all the contents of any one room is quite an accomplishment for
any of us, even at the calmest of moments. Remembering all the contents of your
house and garage after a fire, theft, or other calamity is practically
impossible. Yet that's what you'll be asked to do when you submit a claim on
your homeowners insurance, unless you previously prepared an inventory of your
home’s possessions and property. Omitting or failing to include an adequate
description of an item may prevent you from receiving reimbursement from your
insurance company. The whole point of buying homeowners insurance is to obtain
compensation for financial loss. Why would you risk the farm (or your house and
its contents) on your memory?
also find that a detailed inventory helps when filing a police report, or when
trying to prove a loss to the Internal Revenue Service.
What should the inventory contain?
Under the terms of your homeowners policy, your claim for damaged or stolen
personal property should show the quantity, description, actual cash value (if
different from the purchase price), and amount of loss associated with each
item. Copies of bills, receipts, and other documents that justify the figures in
your claim are also requested. It makes sense for your inventory to include that
information, as well as the purchase price and purchase date of every item. It's
a good idea to note serial numbers for appliances and electrical equipment.
Listing the contents of each room and building separately helps organize the
inventory and promotes completeness. Make sure you include all the contents of
every room, excluding only the four walls, ceiling, and floor. Include rugs and
carpets, wall hangings, curtains, blinds, and draperies. Be descriptive and
refer to colors, dimensions, manufacturers, and composite materials whenever you
can. Make sure you include component parts and the contents of drawers, shelves,
closets, storage boxes, and built-in cabinets. For instance, describe not only
the bed but the headboard, mattress, and bedding. Try to identify every item
that you would have to box or carry out, if you were to move out of the house or
For clothing, make sure you give a full description of any expensive items, such as
leather or wool coats, boots, suits, or formal wear. If you'd rather not
describe every item of clothing, at least list quantities (e.g., six wool
sweaters, two pairs of sneakers, two pairs of corduroy trousers).
Make sure to include the items stored in your attic, basement, garage, or
outbuildings. Sports equipment tends to be expensive and should be described in
as much detail as possible. Don't forget tools and outdoor equipment like lawn
furniture and barbecue grills.
Just do it
You won't be graded on your inventory for accuracy, completeness, or legibility.
If you can't stand the soup-to-nuts approach, at least take the time to jot down
any items valued at $50 or more. Since a picture's worth a thousand words,
consider taking a photograph of each room, with separate photos for big-ticket
items. Hopefully, you'll never have to use your inventory, but if worst comes to
worst, and you have to deal with a calamity, you'll be happy you took the time
to make a permanent record of all your possessions.”
Where should you store your
Remember the purpose of the inventory.
In the case of a fire or catastrophic event, your
inventory will do you no good if it got burned up in the fire, or washed away
with the flood. Regardless of whether the inventory is stored on film, computer
software, a sketchpad or the back of a napkin, keep a copy of it stored
somewhere safe--like with your insurer.
NicheWare's Disaster Assurance programs can handle all your requirements.