If Santa was good to you and brought you a new flat-screen TV with surround sound or the diamond necklace of your dreams, be sure to let your insurance agent know.
The Kansas Insurance Department is reminding people to start or update an inventory of belongings. After the holidays is a good time to do that because newly gifted belongings will make the list.
“If you got a big-ticket item, it certainly would be a good idea that you get it on your inventory list,” said Bob Hanson, a spokesman for the insurance department.
Thanks to technology, keeping that inventory is easier than ever.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners even has an app for smartphones, myHOME.Scr.APP.book, that can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play.
The app allows you to take photos of belongings, provide descriptions of them and then store the list electronically.
Photographing or making videos of belongings is recommended because doing that will remind you to include items you might otherwise forget, Hanson said.
“In many cases, a picture is worth a thousand words,” Hanson said.
For example, photograph or make a video of your holiday decorations before they go back to the basement or attic. You’ll likely be surprised by how many ornaments you have or how much it would cost you to replace your artificial tree and lights.
An advantage of making an inventory is ensuring that your belongings are properly insured for their value.
“I think the most prudent thing is to update your inventory at least once a year,” Hanson said. “Once you have that inventory taken care of, the best thing to do is to put it in a safe place outside the home like a safe deposit box.”
Tamara O’Connor, a public affairs specialist with State Farm, said preparing an inventory makes weathering a disaster at least somewhat easier.
“People forget things when they’re stressed,” she said.