It Is Not Too Late to Conduct a Home Inventory In Preparation for Hurricane Irene

August 25, 2011
INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE
New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500; media@iii.org

NEW YORK, August 25, 2011

Having an up-to-date home inventory is a crucial component of disaster preparedness, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
 
A home inventory can help you:
  • Get your insurance claim settled faster
  • Verify losses for your income tax return
  • Keep track of all the things you have accumulated over the years
  • Buy the amount of insurance you need 
“An up-to-date home inventory is one of four key steps that everyone should take to financially protect themselves against a disaster,” pointed out Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president, Public Affairs and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I. “The other steps are contacting your agent or insurance company representative to make sure that you have the right amount and type of insurance, protecting your property, and knowing where to go and what to take with you if you need to evacuate.”
 
The I.I.I. recommends these steps to conduct a home inventory:
 
1. Get Started!
There are many ways to create a home inventory. It may seem hard at first to record information about everything you have in your house, but do not let that put you off. First, decide on a method or approach that that works for you. You can record items room by room, category by category (furniture, electronics, etc.), from newest items to oldest or from most expensive purchases to less expensive ones.
 
2. Taking Inventory
There are also different ways of recording your list. You can write everything down in a notebook, for example. Or you can simply take pictures, noting improtant information about the items on the backs of the photos. If you have a video camera or smart phone, you can walk through your house filming and describing the contents at the same time. If you have a personal computer, you can access free online software at KnowYourStuff.org. This application makes creating and updating your home inventory easy, as well as allowing you to upload photos of the items and scanned receipts. And with our free, secure online storage you will have access to your inventory anywhere, any time.
 
Keep receipts when they are available and note the cost for the item, when you bought it and any other information you may have about the make and model.
 
3. Store Your Inventory In a Secure Location
If you have a hard copy or removable storage device containing your inventory, store it in a safe place outside of you home—with a friend or in a safe deposit box. That way you will be sure to have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged.
 
It is important to keep your inventory as up-to-date as possible. Whenever you make a significant purchase, remember to add the information to your inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.

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