Personal Contents - If you can’t remember what you have, how will you recover if you experience a loss?You do have a complete inventory of all your personal contents in your home or business, right? People are realizing that, with all the unexpected natural disasters, fires, water damages, and burglaries, there is a real need to protect your possessions.

You certainly could take a pencil and paper, or grab a camera and list everything you own. Having a professional inventory prevents any questions in the event that you did have to make an insurance claim.

You work hard to buy the things you want. Fire, theft or natural disaster — just one unexpected catastrophe – can take these away in just seconds. Once most belongings are gone or damaged, the insurance company or police will ask for detailed descriptions and often require pictures as proof of ownership. What will you do? If you can’t remember what you have you can’t collect on it.

If you were asked to write down all your belongings without looking around your property, would you remember everything?

Having an insurance policy is the first step in protecting your things but just isn’t enough. Disaster victims are usually required to provide a list of items they are claiming for replacement, including price paid and date purchased. A thorough contents inventory, created prior to your loss, is the answer. This information is a sure way to give yourself asset protection to help you recover from a disaster.

Homeowners, renters and businesses all need this information. Without it you could fall victim to your memory. Take your bathroom for example, try and remember everything you have and write it down. Afterwards double check the list by verifying what you listed. Did you miss anything? This is just the bathroom, try inventorying from memory your kitchen or living room. How much money might you be losing without having an inventory pre-disaster?

Maximize your insurance claim reimbursement and reduce the emotional stress associated with a loss. Whether you inventory on your own or pay a professional 3rd party it is worth it. Peace of mind and the risk of losing money on your claim are not worth it. The price to have someone inventory your home before the disaster is well worth the investment. Consider the time and agony trying to provide this information after the fact.

More people every day are realizing the need for an inventory before disaster strikes. Unfortunately, some haven’t yet gotten to that point and find themselves devastated from a fire or other catastrophe. Often the emotion of the loss and the stress of being under a deadline to compile their inventory create a feeling of being overwhelmed and unable to take action.

Below are other reasons to consider having an inventory of all your valued contents.

  • Ensuring you have sufficient insurance coverage for your home and/or business
  • Proof of asset values when applying for a business loan or line of credit
  • A detailed list of all business assets, rather than just those on a depreciation schedule
  • Estate planning and estate settlement
  • Loss or damage in moving or storage
  • Thorough documentation of contents of rental and vacation properties
  • Sale or purchase of a business
  • Divorce and prenuptial agreements