Perspective Newsletter
Spring 2015
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 *Perspective Title (Hint: This should match page name found in the url address line above, minus the dashes.)

Update your video inventory as part of spring cleaning

​​​​​Ah, does anything feel quite as good as cleaning out your closet and donating things you no longer use to someone who really needs them? Well, maybe one thing. Once everything is tidy and in its place, grab your phone or video camera and update (or create) your home inventory. If you ever need to file an insurance claim, you'll be glad you did!

Detail = video

When it comes to capturing detail, video is king! If you doubt it, try to visualize everything you have tucked away in even a single dresser drawer. Impossible, right? But the all-seeing eye of a video camera easily fills in what your memory can't.

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Our 30-second video (above) and these tips will help:

  1. Start your video by introducing yourself. Give the date, your name, address, a brief history of your home, when you bought it, and any renovations.
  2. Pick a room and, starting at the doorway, pan to show furnishings and finishes.
  3. Zoom in on individual items, naming and describing each briefly (brand; age; features; price, if known). Capture serial numbers, if possible.
  4. Open every drawer and closet, showing its contents.
  5. Repeat for every room, including the garage, and store your inventory AWAY from home (in a safe deposit box or at work).
  6. ​Update your video periodically to include new purchases and improvements.

Values = paper

Link to our Personal Property Inventory to record costs for major categories of furnishings, appliances, clothing, electronics, sports equipment, and much more. Save a copy on your computer (to make updates easy), but also print several copies and store them away from your home, ideally in the same place where you keep a copy of your video inventory and receipts for big-ticket purchases.

If an app is more your style, you may want to check out the variety of home inventory apps online. While we don't endorse any particular app, you can start here for an idea of what's available.

Don't be that guy!

After Hurricane Katrina, we polled 600 Washingtonians to ask if they have a home inventory. At that time, only four in 10 did, and of those, 75% updated them regularly. In the wake of Katrina, the Insurance Information Institute ranked "Keep an up-to-date home inventory" as the No. 2 lesson learned – right after "Consider buying a flood insurance policy."