We recently discussed the necessity to inventory your farm, barn and trailer. The U.S. government offers some additional tips to ensure your home is inventoried in case of disaster or theft. Having people on and off your property, sometimes at inconvenient hours of the day, could mean you are at risk of having strangers enter your property and steal from you. Even if nothing in the barn is taken, you will be consumed with the disaster or theft if it happens, which will take you away from your equine business.
You can find more information on USA.gov.
Again, the reason for an inventory is to ensure you are able to thoroughly and precisely list items that were lost due to a natural disaster or theft. From personal experience, I can tell you that it is difficult to remember every single thing in a room when you have been robbed. Having an adequate description and/or photo can help you establish a value for your insurance company.
Keep a copy of the inventory in a “cloud” back-up, on a flash drive in a fire-proof box, and/or in a safe deposit box. Be warned that sometimes thieves will take fire boxes in the hope that you have stored valuable items in those boxes. DON’T DO THAT!
You also should have copies of all of your important papers stored safely, or keep the copies at home and store the originals elsewhere (such as a safe deposit box).
In the case of a natural disaster, contact your insurance company immediately after the danger has passed and all human and animal occupants are safe. In the case of theft, contact the police first, then the insurance company. The police also will want a copy of your inventory so they can post it to pawn shops in the region to alert them to be on the lookout for your property. As you can imagine, having the inventory sheet and images immediately available to the police can assist them in nabbing the culprits. Having to wait a few days to a few weeks for you to “remember” what was stolen gives the thieves plenty of time to pawn or sell your items.
While we all hope no disaster or theft will occur with our property, being prepared will make the aftermath easier to deal with.