State Farm has introduced an online tool that lets homeowners take an inventory of their household belongings.
State Farm HomeIndex enables customers to create an inventory of their personal property by adding photos and details about household items, listing them by room and by category. State Farm says the data is securely stored online.
“State Farm HomeIndex allows customers to easily inventory their personal property, evaluate their current coverage and recover quickly in the event of a loss,” Patty Gaumond, vice president of enterprise Internet solutions at State Farm, says in a news release. “The information is stored virtually and can be accessed using multiple devices, wherever the customer is, at any time.”
The free tool is available only to State Farm policyholders. For more information about the tool, visit www.statefarmhomeindex.com.
State Farm’s HomeIndex isn’t the only home inventory tool available. Other home inventory gizmos include:
- The Insurance Information Institute’s free Know Your Stuff app.
- The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ free MyHome Scr.APP.book app.
- Gotta Have It Software’s Home Inventory app and Home Inventory Online app.
- Free What You Own Home Inventory software.
“Having an up-to-date home inventory is one of the best ways to make the most of your insurance dollars,” Jeanne Salvatore, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, said when the Know Your Stuff app was released in 2008.
“A home inventory lists all your personal possessions and their estimated value. This helps you to purchase the right amount of insurance and will make the claims process faster and easier if there is a fire, hurricane or other type of disaster,” Salvatore added. “And, remember, there is virtually no part of the country that is immune from some sort of catastrophe.”
According to a 2012 survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 59 percent of Americans don’t have a home inventory of their possessions. Of those who don’t have home inventories, 48 percent don’t receipts; 27 percent don’t have photos of their belongings; and 28 percent don’t keep backup copies of their inventories away from home.
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association offers these tips for taking stock of your household items:
- Don’t be overwhelmed. If you’re just setting up a household, starting an inventory list can be relatively simple. If you’ve been living in the same house for many years, however, the task of can be daunting. Still, it’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all. Start with recent purchases and then try to remember what you can about older items.
- Don’t overlook big-ticket items. Valuable items like jewelry, art work and collectibles may have risen in value since you got them. Check with your insurance agent or company to make sure that you have adequate insurance for these items; they may need to be insured separately.
- Take pictures. Besides the list, you should take photos of rooms and important items. Don’t forget things that are in closets or drawers.
- Record it. Walk through your home or apartment as you take video and describe the household contents.