If you had a devastating personal property disaster – fire, major theft, flood – would you be able to inventory your entire shop for the insurance company? I could do it in seconds.
Talking last week about a major tool purchase, I was reminded of my insurance photo record. Whenever I buy anything of value I take a digital picture of it, then squirrel that photo away. All these photos are on my main computer, of course, plus on my backup hard drive. And, since I subscribe to a cloud-based backup service (a bargain at only $60 a year) everything on my computer is backed up automatically for my convenience any time my data changes.
As an extra failsafe, all my insurance photos are also on a flash drive I keep in my car. So, even if my entire house disappeared down a sinkhole, I have not one but two means of offsite backups with a full record of everything I own.
In thinking about it, I pulled that flash drive out of my glove box this morning just to check it out, and learned that it needed a bit of updating to delete a few things I no longer own, and add a few new items. It took only seconds.
Do you keep this kind of record? You should. Just take a stroll around your home and shop, snapping a full photo of each valuable item. In the house get your TV and electronics, kitchen appliances, furniture, etc. In the shop, shoot every major tool. If you have smaller items in drawers, pull out the drawer and take a snapshot. Shoot the wall where you hang hand tools. Do a 360 – stand in the shop center and take photos as you turn a full circle. Maybe take shots from each corner. For big-ticket items that have visible labels/logos/model numbers, take an extra close-up shot of those.
The first time you do this may take a while, but updating your photo record is a simple matter of taking a single photo or two whenever you get something new.
I hope we never have a property disaster, but if we do I have a complete, detailed photographic record of every item we own to make insurance claims accurate and easy.
As a result, I sleep better at night.