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Why you should make a recording of your possessions

Failing to document all your stuff can cost you big if something bad happens.

DALLAS — We’ve reported here many times about having homeowner’s or renter’s insurance coverage and making sure you have enough insurance coverage. 

Hopefully by now you have checked both of those boxes. 

But there’s another box. And this is one that is especially important to check in light of what happened in Florida with Hurricane Ian. 

In so many cases, peoples’ dwellings are just no longer there. Or they are so torn apart and mangled that it’s hard to tell exactly what all was there before. 

Hopefully your insurance company will work with you if you ever have that kind of catastrophic loss. But just to make it easier for them to do right by you, press the record button!

While you are recording video with your mobile phone, walk around from one room to another in your home. Show and describe your possessions in as much detail as possible. If you know when you acquired them or how much they are worth, say that out loud, too. 

Do this for the upgraded TV you just bought, your furniture, musical instruments, your jewelry, your extensive shoe collection, computers and gaming systems. Where possible, include serial numbers and even show receipts if you have them.

By doing this, you are creating a detailed inventory of your home and the possessions in it. You might think of doing this again after you acquire new possessions. Try to back this video file up to the cloud so that it is available even if your phone is lost or damaged. 

Just like so many things having to do with insurance, this is a hassle.

But also just like so many things having to do with insurance, failing to do this can create an even bigger hassle if you suffer a huge loss and can’t remember some items or if there is a disagreement with your insurer. 

You can also write this information down and store it in a safe and secure spot. Your insurer may have an app that helps you chronicle your possessions. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has an app that helps you document your things. It also allows you to take photos and even scan barcodes as you take inventory in your home. 

That is just one consideration. Forbes has also created a list of some of the worst home insurance claim mistakes.

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