Paradise, Calif.,
10:14 AM

What’s in Every Cupboard?

Home inventory helps customers realize what’s been lost.

Becoming one of the thousands of State Farm® customers who lost their homes when the Carr fire burned through Paradise, Calif., gave Agent Keith McBride appreciation for the power of having a home inventory.

“When you lose everything, it is natural to be so emotionally attached to the things that you have lost,” Keith says. “It’s a painful process to have to think about everything you lost.

“However, if you take the time to go room by room, opening cabinets and closets and taking pictures or getting it all on video, in a large catastrophe like this, it speeds up the process.”

Keith completed his own home inventory, as well as doing one for his mother. Many of 1,100 customers who filed claims, however, didn’t have one to refer to.

“It is a frustrating process when submitting a claim,” Keith says. “Think about getting asked about everything you own? How many pair of socks, shirts, shoes, pants.”

Santa Barbara, Calif., Agent Irene Henry helped a customer who had a total loss in the Jesusita Fire in 2009 update her home inventory with a smartphone.

“It’s important to update an inventory, or do one if you haven’t already, of the contents of your home” Irene says. “Whether taking pictures or video, or writing down an inventory list, you have that information. If you have a claim, an inventory will make it smoother and easier to process.”

Irene walked customer Mary Knapp through creating an inventory of the Knapp’s home on Mary’s smartphone, opening drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, closets in bedrooms and walking throughout the house recording every detail.

“It’s so important,” says Mary. “It triggers your mind because there is so much you could never be able to recall it later.”

Mary stored the inventory in her phone, and also has it on a backup hard drive. A home inventory can also be emailed to a customer’s agent.

“Recovering from the fires, it has been emotional. It still is,” Keith says. “But the claims were emotionally easier for customers who completed the inventory.”