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We had a major fire in our home in February of 1989. I don't know which was worse, having the fire, or having to go through the claim settlement process. Trying to remember, and list, all of the items we lost was a huge and daunting task. Having done an inventory ahead of time would have saved us countless hours of work and aggravation.

Joe Chafets
Newton, MA

Earlier this year we had a major fire in our home caused by an electrical problem we knew nothing about.

Thankfully, before the fire, we had taken SOME photographs of our belongings. Luckily the photos weren't destroyed in the fire. Having those photos was very helpful in settling the part of the claim that was for those items, but in the future I'll be sure to document all of our belongings, and will keep the documentation somewhere other than at my house.

Mark Till
Natick, MA

Experiencing a loss of your personal property as a result of fire, theft or other reasons, can be devastating. Most likely you have been accumulating your belongings over many years, and to try and remember what those items are so they can be replaced in the event of a loss can be difficult. Conducting a home inventory now-before a loss occurs-is important as it will help you in determining items that were lost, stolen, or destroyed and will expedite the claims process. It will provide you with a record of your possessions and peace of mind that you have the protection you need. An inventory of your personal belongings is important no matter if you own a home, a condo, or rent.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

If you're the victim of a break-in, having an up-to-date home inventory can make it easier to deal with police and your insurance company. Without an inventory, you'll have to create a list of all your precious belongings from memory. Creating a home inventory is a valuable task - it can even help you prevent theft. As you take note of your possessions, you'll become more aware of their vulnerability, and you can take steps to better secure them.

CBC News

Before a catastrophe strikes and you're faced with a loss, make a home inventory - lists, pictures or a videotape of the contents of your home. After all, would you be able to remember all the possessions you've accumulated over the years if they were destroyed by a fire? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.

Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

If all your possessions were destroyed by fire would you be able to list them? It's wise to take inventory of what you own, so that you have documentation of your possessions - if your house is ever damaged or broken into, you'll be able to use your list to make the claims process go more smoothly.

Wells Fargo Insurance

As a new hurricane season begins, with the destructive storms of 2005 still a recent memory, the importance of creating and keeping a home inventory has become more evident than ever. A good home inventory record is the best way to protect your belongings in the event your home is destroyed in a fire or other covered disaster.

Hurricane Insurance Information Institute

No matter where you live, or what you live in, it's a good idea to keep a record of your belongings, and any items you want your policy to cover.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

"The more documentation you have regarding your possessions, the better your insurance company will be able to handle your claim... Your claim will be processed more rapidly and you're more likely to collect in full."

Insurance Information Institute

Be prepared for disaster. A household inventory of your personal property is one of the most important things you can do as a consumer to prevent problems if you have to file a claim.

A complete and current inventory will ensure that you have sufficient coverage if you have to a claim. It will assist you in dealing with your insurance carrier and may help prevent disagreements. After a loss, many homeowners discover that they don't have enough personal property coverage or they are unable to document their loss. An updated inventory can help prevent either of these possibilities.

Washington State / Office of the Insurance Commissioner






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Loss Prevention Corner

Loss Prevention Corner is a compilation of hundreds of practical tips to help you reduce your chances of having a loss, or to minimize your damage if you do.

The tips are divided into categories such as Fire, Water Damage, Burglary, Identity Theft, and many more!

Weekly Tip: Unplug toaster ovens when not in use.

For more about the Loss Prevention Corner (LPC), click here!