Protect Your Home With Inventory List

May 30, 2011

This weekend provided more rain than sun, which made it the perfect time to finish  spring cleaning your Chicago home. Bet you missed a step, however.

A pair of hands holding a small house.  According to Northbrook-based Allstate, one of the most important things you can do to get organized and protect your possessions is to create a home inventory.

“Disaster or theft can strike at any time,” said Paul Tracey, director for Allstate. “An accurate and up-to-date home inventory can help make the recovery process easier on you and your family.”

Allstate recommends homeowners and renters take the following steps in the home inventory process:

*Categorize: Organize your catalog of personal property by room, category or item to make your list more manageable and help make sure you include all your important items.

*Visualize: Whenever possible, make sure your home inventory list includes photographs or video of your belongings. Take periodic videos of each room in your house, and focus on individual items in each room. Take additional photos or video of smaller items like jewelry, silver and related valuables or keepsakes.

*Document: Attribute notes, cost and quantity to each item. It’s helpful if you can include make, model, serial numbers, receipts, cost, and date of purchase for all items in your home inventory.

*Secure: Whether you store your information on paper or electronically, make sure your information is locked away with a key or password. You wouldn’t want a complete list of valuable items in your home to fall into the wrong hands.

*Store: Put your home inventory in a smart place. Wherever you store your home inventory list, it’s best that the location is far enough away from your home that it won’t be lost in the same event that may destroy your house, yet close enough that it’s easily accessible in a time of need. Consider storing in a safe deposit box, your workplace or with a friend or relative.

*Reference: Include your insurance and agency information for quick reference. Particularly after experiencing a loss, you may have a hard time finding the information you need about your insurance policy and to contact your agency as quickly as you’d like. Including this with your list will help to make sure you have everything you need, when you need it.

*Update: After a significant purchase or gift, update your list. While you should be updating your home inventory periodically, make a special effort to do so after any major purchase, holidays or birthdays.

The company offers a tool called the Allstate® Digital Locker™, which is an application for iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad that can help you check off each of these recommended steps in the home inventory process.

We hope you never have the need for a home inventory list, but in case you do, you’ll be glad it’s done.

Categories: Education, Insurance

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