Home Inventory Can Save You In The Wake Of Disaster


A fire, flood, or a tornado are all disasters that they take everything in your home.

“Stand in a central area of your house. Close your eyes, and try to visualize everything in your visual area. I doubt anybody can do that - multiply that by the size of your home. Forget it. There's no way to remember everything you own,” said Mary Bonelli, Ohio Insurance Institute.

That's why insurance industry experts say it's important to do a home inventory.

Mary Bonelli of the Ohio Insurance Institute demonstrates how to inventory your home with something as simple as a cellphone and some free software.

All she does is take the picture and uploads the image to an inventory app on her smartphone.

“So I can go through the house, and it sounds like an overwhelming task if you think about it. So, I would suggest you do a room or two at a time.”

She says be thorough. Take your time. Open all the drawers. Shoot the silverware, the jewelry, the china - everything of value.

You should even lay out your clothing on the bed for a picture. It may help to group the items as you do it.

The goal is to create an accurate catalog of your possessions, something tangible to show when filing a claim.

“Whenever you have any kind of big ticket item - and normally we're talking about electronics - those you should save separate receipts for, even owner’s manuals can be proof of ownership,” said Kevin Smith, State Farm Agent.

Kevin Smith says only about half of all insured people do a home inventory, while the other half says they'll get to it “someday.”

But calamity knows no timetable, and as the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry.

Mary Bonelli used a program called "Know Your Stuff" in this story. It's available for a free download.