Thorough records can help

Over a year ago my apartment was burgled and all my jewelry was stolen.

I owe long overdue thanks to the RCIP, which actually recovered over half of my missing items and were in constant contact keeping me informed.

When you are robbed, the sooner you can make a report and get descriptions of your missing belongs to the police, the more chance you have of getting any of it back.

When I wrote a letter to the editor after my particular incident, I stressed how much I wished I had had a record of my house contents.

It would have been so much easier (and far more informative) to hand over pictures and descriptions to the police, rather than trying to remember everything and producing amateurish drawings.

With the increase in robberies/burglaries we are presently experiencing, not to mention the joys of hurricane season, it is more important than ever to keep a detailed account of your belongings.

Whilst flipping through the channels a few nights ago, I was watching a Home Improvement Channel or some program on the kind of kitchen I will never be able to afford (refrigerated drawers), when they recommended a software download on the Insurance Information Institute’s website, www.iii.org.

It’s completely free and is Home Inventory Software.

I downloaded it and gave it a go.

It’s very easy to use and allows you to list all the rooms in your house and then list the contents in each room.

For each item there’s a field for a description, serial number, date of purchase, replacement cost, etc.

You can even add a digital picture and a scanned copy of an appraisal or receipt.

Own multiple properties like I don’t? Just set them up in exactly the same way.

Once you’ve done all the initial work this is a piece of cake to update, even if you add another room to your house or office.

When you put in your address it asks for a state, so just stick in Florida or something – it’s more for your information so you can distinguish between properties.

One last piece of fairly crucial advice – back up your data on your computer and keep copies at another safe location.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if you went to all this trouble and then your PC got stolen or washed away by a hurricane?

Victoria Wheaton

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