Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

January 29, 2011

Fire Safety Week: Protecting Your Assets

A fire escape route, smoke detector, and even a "go bag" can help save your life in the event of a fire.  But what about your stuff?  The furniture you saved up for?  The heirloom jewellery you inherited?  Here are some things your insurance company will really want you to do:
  1. Take photos of your rooms and store the photos elsewhere (a safety deposit box, friend's house)
  2. Inventory your goods (try sorting by categories: furniture, clothing, tech stuff, etc.)
  3. Record the value of as many items as you can - especially big ticket items
  4. Bonus points if you attach copies of receipts & record serial numbers
  5. Make a note of when you bought things and highlight newer items as insurance companies sometimes take depreciation into account
  6. Have your extra valuable valuables appraised
  7. Don't forget to keep all of this additional data somewhere off the property also
Here are some other things you can do:
  1. Store photocopies of your passports/house deeds/insurance papers in your go bag and also somewhere safe, off the property (maybe where you store your inventory photos)
  2. Consider a safety deposit box for irreplaceable items
  3. Don't skimp on your insurance policy - really figure out how much you would need to rebuild your home (have you seen the price of sofas recently?)
  4. Keep back ups of family photos online or at someone else's house
  5. Invest in a fire-proof safe (there is no guarantee you'll be able to retrieve it, but if the fire isn't all consuming, you might be able to save some jewellery or other items)
Tips for photographs:
  • Take wide angle shots with good lighting
  • State Farm recommends taking a photo with you in it, to establish ownership
  • Don't forget stuff in drawers, closets, tool boxes
  • Take close up shots of valuables, with any markings or stamps visible (like 925 for sterling silver)

Ah ha, proof we own our kitchen. 
And that bottle of vinegar we were using for cleaning

Not as good a photo for insurance purposes . . .

Much better for insurance

A blog is certainly a good start (I sure have tons of online pics of our place), but I need to get serious about taking an inventory.  I found a good checklist that will help (see here).  Do you have a checklist created already?  Any other tips for protecting your assets?

1 comment

  1. While doing an inventory of the contents of your home may not be the sexiest thing on earth to write about, it certainly is one of the most helpful, and I thank you for doing it. Like you, I have access to plenty of pictures of my home online, but I haven't taken the time to make a list or estimate the value. I'm going to do that right away and store the list at my daughter and SIL's house.

    Again, thanks for reminding us to take care of the practical, not just the aesthetic.


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