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Written by Adam Miller
It's important to make an inventory of your total home assets in the event of a disaster like fire or theft, when it would be harder to recall all your possessions and their net worth.

In our lifetime, we accumulate a large amount of things, ranging from small, mundane items to sentimental and expensive assets. Although we may have a house or apartment full of items, it would be a struggle to create a detailed list of our possessions from memory, much less the current value of these items. When disasters like a house fire or apartment theft occur, policyholders need to provide accurate details regarding their missing or damaged items. This process is especially painful when dealing with the shock and emotional rollercoaster of a burglary or fire. It is crucial for policyholders to regularly take an inventory of their life's possessions to ensure they are securely covered in the event of a disaster.

Spreadsheets Help The Inventory Process

One of the best ways to keep track of assets and other crucial information in the event of a disaster is to create a spreadsheet to track your household inventory and financial records. Your household spreadsheet should include a list of valuables and family assets in the home, and also essential financial records that might be lost in a burglary or fire. Property owners and renters should add information such as Homeowners policy information and contact number, bank and credit card information, health insurance contact information and coverage details, retirement account information, mortgage and car note information, and a listing of all utility providers and their contact information. This spreadsheet should be updated and reviewed regularly, and a printed copy should always be kept in a fireproof and waterproof safe.

Photos and Videos Capture Other Valuables

Taking photos and videos are great ways to capture other valuables that might be missed in initial inventories, and can help when assessing the true value of a loss due to fire, theft or other natural disasters. Homeowners should use video and photos around the perimeter of their home, noting landscaping, valuable trees, sprinkler systems, and outdoor furniture. Property owners and renters should also take photos and videos of each room of the home, including the garage, carefully noting the assets in each one. Close up shots should be made of key valuables such as jewelry, artwork, heirloom pieces, tools and antique furniture.  These types of photographic evidence are especially helpful for items that are inherited or are gifts, as these would not have receipts or proof of purchase for the owners.

Track Your Receipts and Warranties

Keep receipts and warranty information stored as well, especially for recent purchases, handguns, or electronics. This evidence of purchase will help attest to the proper value of items, which is helpful when insuring valuables, and when insurance adjusters are processing claims after disasters strike. These can be scanned and copied for digital recordkeeping, with the originals stored in a personal safe.

Making an inventory of personal assets is a proactive step to ensure valuables are well insured and accounted for in the event of a major disaster. When something catastrophic occurs, the last thing a homeowner or renter should be focused on is trying to remember how many pieces were in their china set, the year they bought their computer, or the value of all the rings and watches in their jewelry box. Reliable, quality insurance coverage helps protect people and their assets, and provides long-term peace of mind.

Aegis, a Houston-based insurance agency, offers affordable and strategic insurance solutions for your unique insurance needs. The friendly, experienced and knowledgeable agents at Aegis are ready to help protect your valuables, and can offer tremendous savings by bundling insurance policies together for lower annual premiums. Call today at 713-850-7622 for more information on our outstanding Homeowners, Renters, Auto, Life and Commercial Insurance policies, or go online for a free quote today!

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