Documenting Your Insured Property

Tina Haapala |

Donna Adams, CLU, provided this article. Donna owns a local State Farm Insurance agency in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Determining ownership and the value of stolen property for claim purposes following a fire or theft is difficult when there's no proof of ownership. But you can rest easier when you have completed a home inventory. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Include the name and address of appraisers on all appraisals.
  • Record serial numbers of theft-prone items.
  • Keep receipts with the description of the item.
  • Remember to inventory closets (including sporting goods), the attic and the basement.
  • Keep a detailed record of antiques, jewelry, silver, major appliances and collector's items.
  • Update your home inventory when you make new purchases.
  • Use a camera or a video camera to record your inventory.
  • Date pictures, slides and videotapes.
  • Take wide-angle pictures of the entire room and several close-ups to capture the detail of items.
  • Substantiate ownership by including a family member in pictures.