With all the recent wildfire activity in Arizona, it makes you wonder if your home was reduced to a pile of rubble, would you be able to list for your insurance agent everything you had in your house?
I spoke to an insurance agent recently about her own personal experience when someone broke in and stole several of her possessions. The insurance company asked her if she knew the model of or had a serial number for her laptop. She was not even sure which model she had let alone a serial number. While she eventually settled her claim, not having the correct information about her belongings made it a greater challenge.
The reality is whether it’s a wildfire in Arizona or a tornado in Oklahoma, disasters can turn your life upside down. It’s always best to be prepared!
So why don’t we all have home inventories tucked away in a fireproof lock box somewhere? Well the answer is simple – it seems like such a daunting task!
But it doesn’t have to be. There are several things you can do to make the process easier. The easiest way to do a home inventory is to take a video. Just walk through your house slowly and shoot video of everything from your electronics and appliances to your collectibles and jewelry, describing what you see as you go.
And since this is the age of the mobile device, of course there’s an app for that.
The MyStuff2 app for the iPhone and iPad is not a bad deal for $4. There’s also a simpler, free version called MyStuff2lite. Both appear to get good ratings, but are for Apple devices only.
Android phone users can check out the MyHomePro app, also $4. You can take pictures and even scan bar codes or type in a description.
A highly rated, but pricier app is the HomeInventory app for iPhones or iPads. But it comes at price: $19.
Any way you choose, try to keep a home inventory. It could make things a little easier on you at a time that you will appreciate that the most. For help creating your inventory, watch our video above!
Thanks for the reminder that I need to do this, Matt! Your post prompted me to go to KnowYourStuff.org and guess what – they now have an app and it’s free! I just downloaded the Android version – will get started this weekend and let you know how it works. Thanks again for the nudge!
I started my home inventory yesterday using the KnowYourStuff app on my Android smartphone. Not only is it a free app (free is always good!), it was user friendly. I started by creating rooms, then adding items to my rooms. It was so easy – I’d add the item and any specs I could remember, then take a photo. I can go back in and edit each item later, which will give me time to dig up purchase dates and prices, etc. Plus, I used the microphone on my phone to enter most of the details so I didn’t have to type them in. I got through most of my stuff in 4 rooms, so I got a good start, but it will be a work in progress for a while. I love how this will be saved “to the cloud” so I don’t have to worry about saving a copy somewhere else. Plus, the III (Insurance Information Institute) is reputable so I trust their security. Thanks again for the post and the recommendation, Matt!
(To keep it transparent for everyone, I am an employee at Central Insurance. I have commented here as a homeowner who appreciates useful tips; it has nothing to do with my employment at Central. ~ Laura)