March 11, 2010

New resource from Missouri Department of Insurance makes it easy to create a home inventory

Jefferson City, Mo. - Consumer advocates are encouraging Americans to become consumer savvy during National Consumer Protection Week, and here in Missouri, the Department of Insurance is helping homeowners and renters better protect themselves in the event of damage or theft to their property.

Department Director John M. Huff says consumers should take the time to document their possessions, whether they own or rent their home, so that they can make sure they have the right amount of insurance coverage and so they can more easily file a claim if necessary.

Huff has released a new Home Inventory Checklist, a fill-in-the-blank brochure that allows consumers to list their possessions, from furniture to electronics to tools to clothing.

"With spring and storm season approaching, it's important to be prepared and have an accurate list of your belongings," said Huff. "Theft or damage to a home is a traumatic event, and no homeowner in that position needs the added stress of trying to remember and prove what possessions were damaged."

The department's checklist walks consumers through their homes room by room, listing living rooms, dining rooms, master bedrooms, children's bedrooms and even attics and storage areas. Each page lists examples of items that might be found in each room, such as sofas, stereos, DVD players, toys and lawn equipment.

Huff recommends consumers keep as many receipts as possible and store them and the inventory checklist in a safe, fire-proof place. Consumers should update their inventory document any time they add or replace items in their home. They may also choose to create a video or photo inventory.

Consumers can download the brochure at no charge from the department's Web site, or request a hard copy by e-mailing the department or calling the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-726-7390.