From tornados to fires, disasters can happen anytime. There’s no calculator for when one might come your way. And if you haven’t taken the proper precautions, the results can be devastating. One important way to prepare for disaster is to know what posessions you have and assess the value of those belongings ahead of time. By knowing this information and having it in an organized manner, your insurance provider can more easily deliver a payment to help cover the cost of replacement in the event of damage or loss. Below, we’ve provided a few tips to help keep a better record of your belongings and be able to bounce back from a disaster a little more quickly.
Tip #1: Make an inventory of your items
Once they’re gone, it can be difficult to remember every item that was lost. Be proactive and develop a catalogue of each item that would need to be replaced in the event of a disaster, along with its value. Include receipts for major items and appliances as proof of purchase, as well as a list of manufacturers, models, and serial numbers.
Tip #2: Don’t forget the small stuff
Remembering the TV and the refrigerator is easy, but what about those items that aren’t as visible? Hair care products and socks might not be the most important items on the inventory, but when you’re replacing an entire home full of possessions, the small stuff can add up fast. And don’t forget about your one-of-a-kind pieces! Whether you found it at a flea market or inherited it from your great uncle’s hairdresser, these specialty items can be some of the most valuable in the home.
Tip #3: Get a second opinion
Don’t know the exact value of your grandma’s 18th-century decoupage cat sculpture? A quick online search can give a fairly close estimate of an item’s value. However, if you’d like a more accurate opinion, try visiting an appraiser. There’s usually a small fee for these types of services, but who knows, that cat could be worth a fortune.
Tip #4: Keep an extra copy
When disaster comes, it’s rarely judicious about which items it destroys. Keep a copy of your inventory and other important documents in a safe place that can be accessed as needed. A cloud-based storage platform or a safety deposit box at your local bank are great options.