Safeguard Your Belongings

Suggestions for Your Home Inventory

A detailed inventory is important in determining ownership and the value of property after a loss due to fire or theft. Most people couldn’t complete a list of personal property from memory but that’s something you’d be asked to do at the time you filed an insurance claim. This Home Inventory is designed to assist you in listing personal assets and calculating their approximate replacement value. Even choosing to complete the most general overview of your personal property on the attached Home Inventory Sheets will be helpful to you in the event that you need this information. Photos can be stored in a small photo album along with this inventory.

· Record serial numbers of small appliances and other theft-prone items.

· Keep receipts along with the description of the item.

· If doing an audio or video inventory, start in one corner of the room and work your way around until the whole room has been covered.

· Don't forget to inventory closets, the attic and basement, and include sporting goods.

· A detailed record of antiques, jewelry, silver, major appliances and collector's items is very important.

· Keep your inventory up-to-date -- be sure to add new items as you purchase them.

· Photographs may be the best way to record your belongings. To prepare this kind of inventory, follow these easy guidelines.

· Any point-and-shoot or digital camera or VCR will do. (Color pictures show details better and cameras with a flash may produce better quality images.) Slides or prints are OK.

· Make sure pictures, slides and videos are dated and that items shown are accompanied by written records of when the item was purchased, where purchased and purchase price.

· To get the overall picture, take wide-angle shots of the entire room, then several close-ups to capture details.

· Focus your flash away from mirrors and other reflective surfaces by standing at a 45° angle to the shiny surface.

· When using a flash, try not to get closer than the recommended focus range. If you must get closer, dim the flash by placing a handkerchief over it while taking the picture.

· A family member in the picture helps substantiate ownership. Open closet doors to indicate quantity of clothing and take pictures of the inside of drawers with the contents fanned out.

· Use non-glare dark cloth as a backdrop for silver, china or jewelry and try to avoid using a flash.
· Take a picture of the pattern name or manufacturers signature of your china, along with a picture of the pattern.
Don't forget to include power tools and detailed photos of the inside of any toolboxes, drawers or storage sheds.

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