Disaster Recovery: 8 Reasons You Need a Home or Business Inventory

A detailed inventory of items destroyed, lost or damaged is often required in order to recoup losses. To save time and money, every business and home owner should consider documenting precious items.

“A typical inventory will record assets with image documentation and an itemized catalogue,” explains Cindy Hartman, owner of the Indianapolis-based Hartman Inventory, Inc. “It’s important to begin with an assessment. Aside of computers, desks, and televisions, consider other items that are unique or critical to the work your employees do or to your home life.”

Disaster Recovery: 8 Reasons You Need a Home or Business Inventory

8 Reasons You Need a Home or Business Inventory

Disasters – In the face of fire, theft, tornado or other disaster, a property inventory will provide detailed documentation, which will ease the claims process. You’ll recover faster, and according to the Insurance Information Institute, usually with a higher settlement.

Moving – Moving is a terrific time to create an inventory. Listing model and serial numbers will be easier while packing those items. Hartman recommends doing an inventory while packing if working with a moving company. Otherwise, take stock when unpacking.

Storage – Self-storage units are a main target of burglars. Professional burglars know the right people to get the right access code and know that 24-hour guards don’t exist on premise. They can easily get in and out of a storage unit long before police arrive.

Financial Planning – Imagine planning for the future, making sound investments, and suddenly, your home or business is destroyed. Will you recover sufficiently? Will you be forced to dip into your retirement plans? Consider a lower estate value because of diminished investments. An inventory of the contents of your home or business can keep your financial future safe.

Estate Planning and Settlement – Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough. It becomes even more difficult when they’re forced to go through your belongings in order to produce a list of assets so your final will can be executed. An inventory will save them from this additional emotional turmoil.

Divorce – On this subject, Hartman says, “When splitting up a household, some couples want to know the value of their belongings so they can be sure to receive equitable settlements. If one of the spouses owns their own business, an inventory of the assets of the company will be extremely important.”

Pre-Nuptial Agreements – Protect sentimental items and family heirlooms through an inventory prior to joining two households together.

Proof of Uninsured Losses – Many home and business owners in the mid-west didn’t have flood insurance before their homes were swept away with heavy rains. Many of those home and business owners didn’t need flood insurance. And yet, the federal government requires documentation to support the uninsured losses deducted on 1040 tax returns for 2008.

You may not be able to stop the coming storm, but wtih a home or business inventory, you can get back on track quickly, with peace of mind.