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Photos of home contents
Old 10-14-2007, 03:22 PM   #1
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Photos of home contents

Please settle an argument that DH and I are having:

He thinks it is essential to have photos of everything in our home (furniture, art work, other stuff) and keep them in a fireproof safe in case of theft, fire, water damage, etc. He sees this as proof to the insurance company that we owned all the stuff that we would want replaced.

I'm kind of cynical about this. How would a photo of a wooden coffee table show that it was a $1,000 Ethan Allen table as opposed to a $79 K-mart table?

We do have receipts for a lot of the stuff, but not everything...

Depending on your answer, DH will or will not buy a new digital camera (so if he should sneak in and bribe you to vote in favor of him, resist the temptation! ).
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:57 PM   #2
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Not essential and not a bad idea and not very expensive to execute.

We had a major home fire less than 10 years ago (about $140,000 in damages) we didn't have any pictures of possessions and the insurance company (Citizens) was very timely and even handed in their dealing with us. We did have a lot of receipts that didn't go up in smoke and our personal possessions lost was a fraction of what they would have expected as "normal" in our neighborhood so that may have helped keep them in an agreeable mode. Even after that experience I still haven't "gotten around to" photographing or videotaping our current possessions.
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:05 PM   #3
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A couple of hours total time. Take the pictures (try to get any labels that are important to the article). Do not forget the garage and the car especially if you have added post purchase stuff to it (custom wheels, tires, etc). Put it all on the computer and then onto a CD, as your SO has already suggested. Make multiple copies and store some off-site (kids house etc.,). If nothing else you will impress the agent when, and if the time, comes. Also be sure to keep it updated. Assume the worst, tornado, hurricane, flood, etc., where you will have to prove the house was even there.
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:18 PM   #4
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It is good to do, but not 'essential'.....

But, you can buy one of those throw away cameras and do it just as well.... no need to buy a digital camera...

However, I still vote that he buy one just because
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:45 PM   #5
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Maybe the best reason is to help you remember what you had. Close your eyes and list everything on your desk. Everything you didn't remember you will not be compensated for. Now extrapolate up to the whole house. Exactly how many pairs of shoes or suit coats or sweaters do you have? Want to prove that to the insurance company? When my Mom's house burned down i remember her making multiple page lists of everything in the home - after the fire. I'd be hard pressed to get much beyond bed, chair, tv, uhhmmmm....
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Maybe the best reason is to help you remember what you had. Close your eyes and list everything on your desk. Everything you didn't remember you will not be compensated for. Now extrapolate up to the whole house. Exactly how many pairs of shoes or suit coats or sweaters do you have? Want to prove that to the insurance company? When my Mom's house burned down i remember her making multiple page lists of everything in the home - after the fire. I'd be hard pressed to get much beyond bed, chair, tv, uhhmmmm....
Exactly! Before we married, my DH's apartment was broken into and nearly cleared out. He had to provide specifics to his insurance company about the number of towels taken, desk contents, etc. Fortunately he had several photos of his apartment that showed enough detail that helped his claim --- otherwise, he would have been out of luck!
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:30 PM   #7
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We lost our house and everything in it in the Oakland fire of 1991.

Yes, it would have been good to have photos. The insurance company gave us a sheet and said "write down a list of everything you owned." It was difficult, and for a while afterwards we say things like "Oh, we forgot the blah blah!" But I think we remembered most stuff. It turned out not to be critical, since the insurance company just threw up their hands and gave everyone the max contents coverage ($244,000 in today's dollars).

I'd recommend that you just walk around the house with a video camera while spouse opens drawers, etc. Have I done this in our new house? No, though I might if I had a video camera.
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:40 PM   #8
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Our policy covers $X on the house and Y% of X for possessions. I believe that we get 1.Y % of X if everything is lost. I think Y = ~40. Unless you have extremely valuable stuff, better not to document what little you have lost.

If DH wants a camera let him have it. It won't delay your ER by more than a week.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:13 PM   #9
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I photographed items around the house and the house itself and uploaded them to a digital storage space. That way if something happens to my house - either a fire or earthquake - I will still have them. I do that with all my important documents too. It's pretty cheap and good for my peace of mind.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:39 AM   #10
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Ah, come on tangomonster, let him have the camera. Why make him grovel.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:41 AM   #11
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Something you do want to have, or make sure exists, off site is the plans to your house. Makes it a lot cheaper easier to rebuild.
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