Dan Burghardt here, from Dan Burghardt Insurance. Today, I want to chat with you about something that might not be on your daily to-do list, but definitely should be on your “peace of mind” checklist – video documenting your home’s contents for insurance purposes.
Let’s face it, life can be unpredictable. One day your home is a sanctuary, brimming with memories and valuables, and the next, it could be caught in an unexpected event that leaves you with loss. . If you know anyone who experienced a total loss due to a fire, gas explosion, hurricane or tornado, they will be the first to tell you that having a video recording or even pictures to help reconstruct a content list of everything they own is nearly impossible without it. Try closeting your eyes and imagine having to remember all your worldly possessions that were all lost. The visual record serves not just as a recall tool precaution but as a necessary step towards a secure future. That’s where the humble camera (or smartphone!) becomes mightier than the pen in documenting your belongings for your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance.
Why, you ask? Let me paint a picture for you.
Imagine the unthinkable happens – a fire, a flood, a theft. In the aftermath, when the dust settles, you’re faced with the daunting task of listing every single item you’ve lost. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? That’s because it is. Trying to recall everything during such a stressful time can feel like trying to remember the lyrics to every song you’ve ever heard – practically impossible.
This is why a video inventory is invaluable. It captures the details – the model numbers, serial numbers, the little scratches on the side of your grandfather’s old watch that tell a story – all those specifics that a written list might miss. It’s the difference between “I think I had a TV like that…” and “This is my 55-inch, ultra-HD, LED Smart TV, here’s where I bought it, and here’s how much I paid for it.”
Now, you might think, “Sure, Dan, but is it really worth it?” Absolutely. Here’s why:
- Proof of Ownership: When you file a claim, your insurance company will ask for proof that you owned the items you’re claiming. A video is a solid proof. It’s hard evidence that says, “Yes, I had a mint-condition, vintage guitar collection,” and not just a hopeful memory.
- Condition of Items: Insurance isn’t just about proving you owned something; it’s about proving its worth. A video shows the condition your items were in before the loss, which can influence how much you’re compensated.
- Detail is King: Ever tried to describe a piece of jewelry over the phone? How about through a claim form? It’s tough. A video lets you zoom in on that intricate engraving or the unique pattern on your heirloom vase – details that make all the difference in valuation.
- Emotional Value: Some things aren’t about the money. A video can capture the sentiment behind items that might not hold high monetary value but are priceless to you. Should these be lost, having documented them can be a comfort in difficult times.
- Efficiency: Time is of the essence when you’re making a claim. A video speeds up the process, cutting through the back-and-forth that can happen with paperwork. It’s like having a visual receipt for everything you own.
- Updates Are Easy: As you acquire new treasures, it’s simple to add them to your video inventory. No need to start from scratch; just record, append, and update.
So, how do you make a home inventory video? Here are some friendly tips:
- Start with the big-ticket items: Electronics, jewelry, collectibles – get those on film first.
- Open drawers and closets: Capture what’s inside. Those tucked-away items can be easy to forget.
- Narrate your tour: As you walk through your home, talk about what you’re filming. Mention where you got items, how much they’re worth, and any relevant details.
- Keep it safe: Store your video online or in a safe deposit box, and make sure a family member or a trusted friend knows where it is.
I’ll leave you with a personal anecdote. A client once lost a valuable painting in a fire. She was devastated and, understandably, didn’t remember the artist’s name or the painting’s value. But she had a video that showed the artwork in her living room. That video not only helped her claim, it also preserved the memory of the painting that had meant so much to her.
In the end, video documentation is about more than just insurance claims; it’s about safeguarding the narrative of our lives, the possessions that tell our stories. So, grab your camera, and start documenting. It’s a small effort today that could make a big difference tomorrow.
Remember, we’re here to help you protect what’s important. If you have any questions or need advice on how to properly document your belongings, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Stay safe and be well,