By Carrie Mitchell, Owner & Founder
TWS Home Inventory
Knowing the despair that follows a major loss, Carrie Mitchell founded TWS Home Inventory in 2012 after helping victims of the devastation caused by Colorado’s Waldo Canyon fire in. It was in the aftermath that Carrie realized how much heartache and stress could be avoided with a professionally detailed home inventory. TWS Home Inventory is now available in California and the East Coast.
Carrie and TWS Home Inventory have been featured in Colorado media, FOX News National, FOX News Business, the Insurance Journal and the Huffington Post. Carrie will be providing us with important content about the need for a home inventory and the many ways not having one could hurt you.
California Casualty proudly insures a sector of society that knows all too well the importance of being proactive instead of reactive in our everyday lives. As educators, health care providers, fire fighters, first responders, and peace officers you see the devastating aftermath of situations outside of our control.
TWS Home Inventory and Asset Management Group was founded in 2012 as a direct result of the plight of affected homeowners in the aftermath of Colorado’s Waldo Canyon Fire. As a homeowner personally affected by this natural disaster that devastated the Colorado Springs area in 2012, I saw first-hand the trail of destruction left behind: over 350 homes destroyed and countless numbers severely damaged, 18,247 acres of forest blackened, firefighting costs alone were over $15 million, home losses and insurance claims were estimated at over $356 million two years after the fire, and many claims remain in dispute even after three years.
Although most homes were insured, the financial recovery for contents was much less than the insured structure amount and for valuables such as jewelry, guns, paintings, family heirlooms and antiques. Many of these precious possessions were simply lost forever. The simple reason for this fact is that most homeowners had no physical record or documentation of their valued possessions, let alone were even able to remember a fraction of the items lost. Now, three years later, many homeowners are still struggling to itemize their possessions leaving them with a feeling of being victimized a second time.
As a volunteer assisting these homeowners, the idea for a professionally documented home inventory service was born and TWS Home Inventory and Asset Management Group was formed. In 2013, the Black Forest Wildfire brought even greater devastation to the Colorado Springs area with over 511 homes destroyed and it was followed by the Waldo Canyon Flood.
The Root of the Problem
Once insured, a homeowner assumes that everything is covered and is totally unaware of the serious need for a documented inventory, much less the value that it adds to their insurance coverage. In my experience, most homeowners never read their policy to see what actually is and is not covered until they are in the claims process. Any loss, partial or total, requires some form of proof of ownership of contents, especially when it comes to specific valuable articles. Working with victims of loss, one thing seems to always be evident; homeowners tend to want to blame the insurance company for insufficient compensation. Unfortunately, few realize until after the fact that it is the homeowner’s responsibility prior to that loss to inform the insurance carrier of what they own to ensure proper coverage.
In the coming months we look forward to sharing with you the invaluable information learned over the past three years from homeowners affected by some of the worst natural disasters in recent years. Our goal in this series is to help educate proactive policyholders on the specific personal items you may own which need to have appraisals, floaters, riders, and endorsements not covered in a typical homeowner’s policy, because
When it’s too late….It’s too late!
You can learn more about Carrie Mitchell and free home inspection resources at