Texas Living

For the Record

By Paula Felps 7.7.14

Protecting your home with insurance is crucial — but having a thorough inventory of your belongings is just as important. Surprisingly, however, more than half of all Americans don’t keep an updated inventory of their belongings, which can complicate the claims process.

In the event of a major weather event, a fire, or burglary, being able to provide your insurance adjuster with a household inventory list will help ensure that you get reimbursed for your covered losses. Whenever you make a claim, you need to provide information about what was lost. Having a documented list, like this one available for download on the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance website, will save time and help make claims easier.

Here are simple ways to make sure you’re prepared:

  • Use images. Videotape the contents of your home, or take pictures of items in every room in your house. Make sure you photograph or videotape the serial numbers of expensive items such as electronics and appliances.
  • Write it down. Next, create a spreadsheet that lists your belongings. Enter as much information as possible — serial number, model number, what room it’s in, etc.
  • Keep it current. Make sure you update your inventory after major events like birthdays or Christmas, when new items are likely to be added to your list of possessions.
  • Keep it safe. Store your inventory list in a separate location. If you have a safe deposit box, that is a great place for storing lists and videotapes, but a cloud-based storage system (like SugarSync or Dropbox) is also a good way to safely store images and lists.