One Picture is Worth a THOU$AND DOLLAR$

Yes, I know a picture is worth a thousand words, but it could also be worth a thousand (or THOUSANDS OF) dollars!

I can’t tell you the number of times in my 30+ year career in the insurance business that I’ve listened to a distraught policyholder after a loss struggle to remember everything that was stolen or lost in a fire. Many times I’ll get a call many months after the loss because the client just discovered that, “They got my Grandma’s silver too. We didn’t realize it until we were setting the table for Thanksgiving dinner.”

The whole process wouldn’t probably take you more than an hour. Just walk around your house and take pictures of everything you own. Well, you don’t need to document your underwear drawer, but take pictures of almost everything else. Here’s a short list to get you started…

Remember the purpose of the pictures is twofold:
a. To help you remember every thing you have.
b. To document (i.e. prove) to the insurance company that you really did own all this stuff!

So here we go…

  1. Take a panoramic shot of every room in the house. Some rooms may need pictures from several different angles to get it all in.
  2. Then open your cabinets in your kitchen and get pictures of all your dishes, cookware, etc.
  3. Take a look in all the drawers and take pictures of any unique items you may have.
  4. Get a black cloth or towel and spread it out on your floor or bed. Lay out any special or expensive items such as Jewelry, Silver, furs, CD collections, collectables, baseball cards, plates, dolls, etc for better close ups.
  5. While you’re at it, take pictures in the garage: Tools, cars, contents of your cars, file cabinets, lawn mowers, etc.
  6. Take a picture of your back yard patio furniture, tool shed, etc.
  7. Open your closets and take pictures of your clothing. Reminds you of the amount and some of the pieces.
  8. Take close-ups of all the pictures, art and decorative items hanging on your walls.
  9. Take pictures of your cars: Inside and Out. All the way around

I think you get the idea.

Now…. here’s the important part….. ! ! ! !

If these are digital pictures, put them onto your computer and make a couple copies onto some CD’s. Take one to your office and give one to a friend or mail one to your Uncle in Toledo, but GET IT OUT OF YOUR HOUSE. Last thing you want is to remember that all your “pictures” burned up in the fire… 🙂

Make a reminder to at least consider updating the pictures once a year AND whenever you make a major purchase like stove, refrigerator, art pieces, jewelry, etc.

This will make your life SO MUCH EASIER if you ever have a loss.


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