Wildfires emphasize need for inventory

OkGrassFire1 In light of the wildfires damaging homes and property across the state, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is urging Oklahomans to complete a home inventory.

After a disaster, an inventory helps provide proof of personal property loss,” said Doak. “When you file a claim, your insurance company will want an itemized list of everything that was damaged. Trying to come up with that list from memory is extremely difficult, especially during a crisis. That’s why it is critically important to complete your home inventory right now.”

Commissioner Doak made the comments after touring wildfire damage in Guthrie where thousands of acres and dozens of structures have been scorched since Sunday.

Commissioner John Doak

Commissioner John Doak

“The damage from this event is devastating,” said Doak. “Rebuilding your life after a disaster like this takes a tremendous amount of time, money and effort. We will be there for the victims as long as they need us.”

Wildfire victims with insurance-related questions are urged to call the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance hotline at 1-800-522-0071.

How to Create a Home Inventory
• Group possessions into logical categories, i.e., by hobby, by room, etc.
• The list should include celebration purchases like jewelry and art, as well as everyday leisure items such as televisions and guitars.
• Don’t forget rarely-used items such as holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, etc.
• Pull together copies of original sales receipts and/or appraisal documents. Also note model and serial numbers.
• Carefully photograph or videotape each item and document a brief description, including age, purchase price and estimated current value.
• Store the home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily accessible place online, on a computer or in a fire-proof box or safe deposit box. Consider sharing a copy with friends, relatives and insurance provider.
• Download a home inventory checklist at http://www.ok.gov/oid/documents/PC%20home_inventory.pdf

The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.