Waking up at 4:00 on Christmas morning to a flooded home provided quite the start to the Holidays! Though we're always aware these things can happen, we're certain they never will happen to us!
After a quick five hours spent with my favorite shop vac and sump pump, I made the inevitable call to the insurance company....and the real fun began! The next days were spent compiling lists and taking photos of damaged items...documenting those that were beyond repair, trying to get estimates to conserve those that might be able to be restored. Not a fun way to spend the Holidays, but still I was very aware we were more fortunate than most. It wasn't a stretch to imagine if the loss had been caused by fire vs. flood--how devastating that would be!
When it came time to complete the loss sheet for the insurance company, I was embarrassed to find my own personal property inventory wasn't up to date! This from someone who provides personal property inventory and appraisals as part of their business! I felt just like the plumber with the leaky faucet, or the carpenter with the unfinished floors...Not a great way to be reminded of the importance of a personal property inventory, but a reminder just the same!
You don't need to hire someone to conduct your inventory and valuation, but it's important that you have one. It can be as simple as a listing with make, model, serial number, date of purchase and purchase or estimated replacement cost. If you can back it up with some photos, all the better! Want something more complete and "insurance ready"? Contact your insurance carrier and ask if they have a form you can use, or visit www.knowyourstuff.org for free downloadable software.
Once you've completed your listing, make sure you have a copy securely saved off site--a safe deposit box is a great place to keep your back up! Make a resolution that you'll update the list regularly; quarterly, or at daylight savings time changes and you're changing your smoke detector batteries! Protect and prepare yourself to avoid losing out on the insurance benefit you pay for!
I'm looking forward to the start of this New Year and hope you are too! You can bet one of my resolutions is ensuring my own personal property is better documented for the future....Just in case!