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Personal Property Documentation

January 26, 2016

I remember several years ago my daughter had board her horse in Browns Canyon - north of the 118 fwy. The stables were located one canyon away from a wild brush fire moving toward the ranch. We had plenty of time to evactue the horses and I was videotaping the action, getting all  the horses loaded into the trailers.
When  the owner of the ranch noticed my videotaping the "goings on" (that's cowboy talk), he ran up to me and said " could you please video my personal property in my house? The fire department has informed me my house is in path of the on coming fire. With plenty of time, I walked over to the house and began to videotape the inside of his house, a quick walk thru with the owner describing item after item ( he had many fine art items, artwork, custom furniture, jewlery and a fine gun collection. We finished the video taping and I handed the homeowner the videotape - with a be safe and good luck! We trailed our horse off the property. That night the fire hit his property and he lost a few out buildings, but the house was spared with the help of the fire department.

Why urgency? 


The homeowner had a lot of valuable personal items and no inventory (videotape/photos or written documentation) and he knew that if the house went down in the fire - he would be dealing with his insurance company and the videotape would be a huge benefit validating his loss.

I wanted to share this story to encourage you to take the time to document your personal property. The homeowner only had a few hours before the fire reached his property - but you never know what's next - fire, earthquake, burglar.... 

The more inventory documentation you have the better. I like to say the best way to document your personal items is to pretend you are going to sell the items on Ebay. Your photos and description should be detailed and accurate.  

If you have a homeowner policy and you have a loss - you will be glad you took the time to document your personal property.

I don't have a policy!

If you do not have an insurance policy I recommend you document your personal property also. Let's say you get burgerizd and later the police inform you, they have recovered a stash of stolen items - come down to the station and take a look. With your inventory documentation and photos/video in hand you will have a better chance to get your items back. 

Recap: Make a detailed personal property inventory list, with photos and videotape (CD) of your personal items.

Keep a copy of your inventory documentation off site (i.e. - relative, safety deposit box ).
Update your inventory when you add more personal items.

If you need a homeowner, condo, rental property, mobile home or renters policy - give our office a call for a quote.

“People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care”
- Theodore Roosevelt


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