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Free Advice & Really Cool Tools from a Local, Third-Generation Family Business

I recently sat down with Jeremiah Lewis of Sullivan Insurance with a question we hear frequently from our clients, "What can I do to prepare for a catastrophic claim or burglary?"  Jeremiah had some excellent advice and recommendations.

As a local Independent Insurance Agency, our first response is to match our customers with the right insurance company to provide the 'right' coverage to meet our client's needs.  The next step is to make sure our homeowners and renters document a list of items within a home.  This list is referred to as a 'Home Inventory List'.

A complete list of valuables is an excellent way to expedite the claims process after a theft, damage, or loss. If someone experiences a property loss, their inventory list will certainly assist in the settlement of a covered loss or claim.   A recorded a list of valuables proves especially helpful when a property is damaged due to a catasphrophic event like a fire.  The preparation can be time consuming and tedious, but it makes the claims experience so much simpler if it is done thoroughly.

A good home inventory should include a record of your valuables detailing date of purchase and cost.  For larger and more expensive items like televisions and computers, it will prove beneficial to capture pictures of the item along with the style and model number - especially if you haven't kept receipts.  A good way to ensure proper documentation is to move from room to room, recording items as you go.  Be sure to document antiques and jewelry.  Also, don't forget to include items in your basement, attic, garage, and any detached structures such as tool sheds.

A hard paper copy of a home inventory and keeping it in a fireproof box at home or at an "off site" location is a common method of safe-keeping your list.  Although, technological applications have provided renters and homeowners with savvy alternative options. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has introduced myHOME, which is an iphone/ipad app that lets you take pictures, descriptions, bar codes and serial numbers for all of your valuables. You can see a brief 2 minute video demo here and you can get tips from NAIC's InsureU on how to create a home inventory. And if you don't have an iPhone, go back to basics, as NAIC offers a Home inventory checklist.

I hope these tips were helpful. If you have any questions on home inventories or any other insurance matters, don't hesitate to call me, Jeremiah Lewis at 978-356-5511 or email me at Visit our website at

 Bernard Sullivan Insurance Agency located at 12 Market Street, downtown Ipswich, MA has been serving communities on the North Shore since 1935.  

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