CAPE CORAL — Floridians understand that surviving hurricane season is all about preparation. An important, but often overlooked detail in this process is creating a home inventory. Cape Coral’s Sullivan State Farm Agencies advise residents to develop a home inventory before disaster strikes. An accurate, recent inventory of the items in your home will be one of your greatest resources for expediting the insurance claim process after experiencing damage, loss, or theft.
“Imagine having to list everything you can remember having in your home and determining its worth. Now add the pressures of searching for a place to stay and coping with the stress of loss,” said Mike Sullivan, State Farm Agent. “Home inventories are also useful for verifying tax-deductible property losses and determining the right amount of insurance coverage.”
A home inventory can be as simple as a list of all your possessions or a visual record of each item. “You should really do both,” suggests State Farm Agent Dawn Sullivan. “The most effective home inventory will include an itemized list as well as photos or video for added peace of mind.”
Your written inventory should catalog your belongings and include item descriptions. Ideally this description will include the make, model, serial number, value and purchase date of each item. You can create your own spreadsheet or visit the State Farm website to download a template at www.statefarm.com/claims/claims-help/home-and-property/homeowner-forms.
A digital inventory can be created using either photos or videos. A number of smart phone applications are available to assist with this process. These mobile apps allow you to save a photograph of the item along with the description, value, and purchase date.
Even without an app, visual records are excellent for showing proof of ownership. This can be accomplished with a video walk-through of your home or through a series of photographs. Capture important individual items as well as entire rooms, closets or drawers, paying special attention to your most valuable possessions. To keep an inventory up to date, get into the habit of recording your new purchases as you get them. If you have any questions about which items are covered by your policy, contact your insurance agent.
Your home inventory should be stored in a secure place, so it does not get lost or destroyed in the event of a property loss. It’s important to keep a copy in a fireproof safe, safety deposit box, or digitally in the cloud. The Sullivan State Farm family is here to help life go right. To make an appointment to discuss your home inventory or insuring valuables like a home or automobile, call the Sullivan State Farm Agency at 239-541-3276 or complete the online form on the agents’ websites: mikesullivan1.com or dawnsullivan.net.