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Home Video Inventory for Insurance Reasons

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A co-worker of mine just had his house broken into while he was out of town and when I say EVERYTHING was stolen, I mean EVERYTHING. From his tvs, stove, fridge, clothes, computers... EVERYTHING. So his insurance company is giving him a little bit of a hard time about his 'valuables'. So that prompted me to start searching more about homeowners insurance. So I came across the idea of creating a home video inventory for insurance purposes.


So, I know we have quite a few new homeowners on board, and I thought this would be a good idea to share with everyone. If you rent and have renter's insurance, you can do this too!


Has anyone ever done this? If so, please share any tips.


Here are a few tips I have found online from various sources, kinda long, but I think worth it:



Step 1:

Obtain a video camera. If you don't already own one, borrow one from a friend or rent one from a rental facility. This may even be a good time to consider purchasing one, especially if you've considered it in the past.


Step 2:

Clean your house. Surprisingly, it's easier to get an accurate video of your home if it's clean. Do your best to declutter and straighten up before you begin filming your video home inventory.


Step 3:

Choose a room. Pick the room where you'd like to begin. It's best to do your home in an organized fashion so you don't miss any rooms or belongings. Top to bottom or north to south are possible options.


Step 4:

Record the date. Make sure you record your name, the date, the time and the location of your home on the video tape. This will help avoid confusion, especially if you make additional tapes at a later date.


Step 5:

Video your belongings. Move slowly through your home and videotape your belongings, pausing on specific items. To keep this simple, consider the big picture, too. You don't need to pause on every single item of clothing. Instead, slowly pan through the entire closet to get an overview of the amount and styles of clothes you own. <You can also take still pictures of particular items and keep them in a file as well to get a more detailed view>


Step 6:

Narrate. Make sure you narrate through the entire process. Point out any items of high value, such as expensive electronics, appliances or jewelry. If you remember their approximate cost, be sure to mention this in the narration as well. It's easier to remember the prices of items when you're making your inventory than when you're under stress after a recent burglary.


Step 7:

Store it in a safe place. Once you've finished your video home inventory, make sure you store a copy of it in a safe place. One good choice is a safe deposit box in your bank where it will be safe from both fire and burglary.




What to Include in a Home Inventory?

The short answer is – everything. Even if you don’t have receipts and information about the items, having a visual record of it will help the insurance company assign it a value. More specifically, you’ll want to include every piece of furniture, all major appliances, any collections of artwork, crafting equipment, crafting materials, toys and home goods. Some of the things that many people don’t consider include your wardrobe, silverware and china, children’s toys and gardening/outdoor equipment.


Some of the things people don’t think about until they have to replace them:


your kitchen appliances

small electrical appliances

your living room suite

your bedroom suite

furnishings in other rooms

the draperies and window dressings

any collections

your craft and hobbies materials

your clothing and accessories

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this is a really good idea although i think i will have a hard time convincing FI that we should clean and then spend a couple hours doing it but i love that!

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As a police officer and crime scene technician I can also give you a few tips...


1) Record serial numbers, what I do is take a picture of an item (ipod, camera, etc) then print it out and write the serial # on the back. Serial #s help a lot in potential recovery and then conviction of offenders


2) If you come home and find this has happened to you do not search your house, exit your home and call the police. You can not be certain the bad guy is not inside still so let the police search your residence.


3) Get a safety deposit box and use it! Items in an at home safe are not necessarily safe from being taken, bad guys will carry it out if they have the time


4) What we usually see is the offenders taking a pillow case usually from the victim residence and filling it up with easy to sell items, your local police dept more than likely checks on a regular basis with local pawn shops to make sure items that were reported missing in a residential burglary are not at the pawn shop


5) If you go out of town let your neighbors know and leave lights on timers!


Ok I will stop now but hope that helps a little

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I did something similar for my rental insurance, but I took pictures instead of a video. I should probably update it. I just took pictures of each area of the apartment.

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My son and his wife lost their home in a tornado in January. Their insurance wanted a list of everything that wasn't salvageable, receipts (which they didn't have because: 1. duh, they just had a tornado, and 2. most items were wedding presents), and an assigned value of each and every item. Food was listed as one total item, as was clothing. Alot of it was pure guesswork.

Luckily, they had great insurance that has taken great care of everything.

Another good idea is to backup your computer and keep the copy in a safe location.

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Thanks for the reminder. We did do this a few years ago, but we should re-do it. We also opened drawers and cupboards that had vaulable stuff inside just so we had it recorded.

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