If you are one of the almost 50% of U.S. households that has never completed a home inventory there is no time like the present.
Why is a Home Inventory Important?
A Home Inventory Checklist is a list of your valuable objects in case there is a fire, destructive storm or if someone breaks in and steals your belongings. Doing a home inventory is very important because without one many people have a difficult time pinpointing or recalling everything that might have been destroyed or taken, and unfortunately that can delay claims or keep you from getting full compensation. So, before the hectic holiday season rolls around, and take the time to take inventory of your home.
Just go room by room and document:
- Personal care items
- Kitchen items and appliances
- Beds and linens
- Sports equipment
- Yard and garden tools
You can choose to write everything down or use photo/video documentation of your belongings. Don’t forget to take pictures of the exterior of your home as well (photos are best from all angels- including the landscaping and any decks or porches). Also take note of everything in the garage, attic, or basement- like holiday ornaments, lawn and yard equipment, tools, etc.
Trying to tally what needs to be replaced is not something you want to do in the event of a claim, so completing your inventory will give you some peace of mind if the worst should happen; and you can use the time to get rid of the old and make room for the new, before the craziness of the holidays.
To help you out, we’ve got a handy home inventory guide already made just for you! You can download it by clicking on the “Household Inventory” image below.
Here’s an unsettling statistic – about half of US households still haven’t completed a home inventory. Of those who have done one, 40 percent haven’t updated it in many years. It’s a resolution that we urge you to make.
Why? You’ve worked hard to make your house a home. Now it’s time to create a record of everything that you own. Trying to tally what needs to be replaced is not something you want to do in the event of a claim.
Home inventory is so important. It provides a list of your things in case there is a fire, destructive storm or someone breaks in and steals your valuable belongings. Without an inventory, many people have a difficult time pinpointing or recalling everything that might have been destroyed or taken. That could delay your claim or keep you from getting full compensation.
Whether you choose to write everything down or use a video camera (like your phone), now is a great time to get started. Just go room by room and document:
- Personal care items
- Kitchen items and appliances
- Beds and linens
- Sports equipment
- Yard and garden tools
Don’t forget to take pictures of the exterior of your home from all sides (including the landscaping and any decks or porches), and all the stuff in the garage, attic or basement (holiday ornaments, lawn and yard equipment, tools).
Completing your inventory will give you some peace of mind if the worst should happen. We’ve got a handy home inventory guide that you can download here.
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
Your home and the personal property inside are your most valuable assets. If the unexpected were to happen, give yourself peace of mind by knowing your personal possessions have an extra layer of protection by placing them in a home safe.
Keeping a durable safe inside your home is one of the best ways to ensure your valuables, personal belongings, and other important documents inside remain secure in the event of a burglary, fire, or natural disaster. But buying a safe that is water, fire, and/or theft-resistant can be quite a monetary investment.
If you are questioning whether it’s “worth it” to purchase a home safe, here are some important factors to remember.
You’ll have quick access to important information
If you need cash or important documents like your Home Warranty, you won’t have to jump through any hoops or wait to get the information you need. All of your important information will be in one place that is quickly accessible to you and your family.
Your important items will remain safe
In the event of a disaster, there may not be time to grab all of the items you would like to bring with you. With a home safe, no matter the occurrence, your important possessions will remain secure.
You can also use it for firearm & weapon storage
If you keep weapons in your home, you can rest assured knowing that they will be locked away in your safe, out of sight and reach from your children and any guests (wanted or unwanted).
What Kind of Safe Should I Purchase?
Not all safes have the same functionality. Before you purchase a safe of your own, do your research on what will work best for you and your family. If you live in a flood or wildfire-prone area, be sure to invest in a safe that protects against water or fire. If you chose to use your safe for weapon storage, remember to find a safe that protects against humidity.
Home safes also come in many different sizes, with the average home save being 1.2 – 1.3 cubic feet. If you have an area of your home that you know you would like to place keep your safe (out of the eyes of an intruder) be sure to purchase a safe with the correct dimensions, so it will fit properly in your space.
The size of your safe should also take into account what you will keep inside of it. For example, if you are storing multiple family heirlooms, along with all of your emergency documents and a full emergency kit, you may want to invest in a larger safe.
Here are some examples of what you can keep in your home safe.
Items to Keep Inside Your Safe
Personal Documents – Birth certificate, passport, social security card, marriage license, vaccination & medical history, tax returns
Important Information – Passwords, health insurance information, legal documents, wills, death decrees, immigration paperwork, & external hard drives
Money & Bank Information –Cash, bank account numbers, checks, credit cards, bonds, stock certificates, & precious metals like gold or silver
Home& Auto Information – Insurance information, contracts, warranties, permits, deeds, & titles
Weapons – Firearms, knives, bows, & ammunition
Jewelry – Expensive necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, diamonds, gemstones, & engagement or wedding rings
Spare Keys – House keys, deposit box keys, car keys, garage door openers, & neighborhood facility keys
Heirlooms – Trinkets, photos, & items from childhood or passed down from generations
Owning a safe is one of the easiest ways to make sure your personal property stays protected. Save yourself worry and stress by investing in a safe for your home today – your future self will thank you.
First responders- you help keep us safe all year long; let us help you keep your valuable possessions safe too. Click here to enter to win one of THREE Liberty Safes filled with 5.11 Gear courtesy of California Casualty!
DISCLAIMER: Contest terms and conditions apply, see page for details.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.