App helps create list of everything you own

Posted at 11:38 PM, Apr 14, 2016

It's a good idea to keep a list of possessions, in case disaster strikes, but that can seem like a daunting task. 

Now, a host of apps take the work out of creating and organizing a list of everything you own.

Half of Americans don't have a home inventory in the event of tragedy. That's something the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is hoping to change. They've created an app, my home

"You can literally just walk around your home. Take photos, open up the drawers, open up the doors, let everything be seen on the app and start your physical inventory," John Huff, from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners said.

Physical inventory is what Michael Lomax wishes he had before fire destroyed his home. The disaster was just the start of the heartache and stress.

"I had to gather all the receipts I could, find out how much things were worth and, and demonstrate that to the insurance company," Lomax said.

He tried the Encircle App, one of several designed to help users keep a digital record of all their belongings,

"It's very easy to add the information, and easy to use," he said.

Doing a digital inventory can even help you determine how much insurance coverage you really need. 

"Using an app is a good idea because you have it stored then someplace that's off premises and it also helps you walk through the process of what you may need to use if you later have an insurance claim," Huff said.

As for Michael, he updates his inventory regularly and urges others do the same.

"If you wait until after a disaster and have to put it together, it's a lot more time consuming," he said.

Huff notes that the inventory is just a starting point for a claim, not a substitute for the claims adjudication process.  He says the app can be helpful after disaster strikes, because going through the process can help jog your memory about items that were lost.

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