Quick Tip: Digitally Document Your Possessions
Photographic Proof For Insurance (Included: a good “general tip”)
A picture is worth a thousand words, they say; but if you had a catastrophe and your insurance company refuted, or undervalued, your claim – a picture could be worth thousands of dollars.
If your house burned to the ground, and your insurance company disagreed with you about the contents of your home, or severely undervalued them, or both, how would you respond? I would open my email.
What did he say?
Step 1) (Takes an hour, or two, or so) Get a hold of a digital camera, or use your cell phone’s camera if you have no other option, and photograph all your rooms in a “panorama” type perspective. Also be sure to take good pictures of all your key (valuable) possessions – furniture, electronics, appliances, jewelry, artwork, vehicles, power tools, silverware, etc. Open your closets and snap some pics of their contents (your wardrobe); and also your cabinets with all your pots and pans and popcorn poppers. Create a “visual tour” of your home/garage/tool shed.
Step 2) Transfer the images to your PC into a folder you create named “Insurance” (or.. something similar). Then apply a “batch resizer” to the JPEGs (the pictures) you just took. Digital images from cameras usually are quite large (file size, I mean) and to complete the next step, you need to ‘shrink’ them down to a smaller (file) size — say, under 500 KB each. It is easy, don’t worry; scroll down for my reco on a “resizer” tool.
Step 3) Now import (or attach) the (smaller) images to an email and send the email to yourself.
This may be easiest if you use a “zip” utility (such as Windows’ Send to compressed folder).
Now, no matter what happens to your camera or computer, a copy of those photos will be stored on your email server – ready to show to your insurance claims adjuster should you ever need them. It may take more than one email to send yourself them all..
(And naturally, I hope we never do need them..!)
And let’s face it; if we had to sit down and write out a list from memory.. how many things would we forget without that visual reminder?
(Optional Step 4) “Burn” a copy of the original “Insurance” folder to a CD/DVD (the large size images) and put the disc in your safety deposit box (or give it to a friend to keep for you.)
Walking through with a video camera is a great thing to do too. But be sure to store the ‘tape’ somewhere else.
And YES, folks: you have to do this before the tornado (or hurricane, or earthquake, or..) strikes.
Today’s free download: Batch Image resizing made easy. Fotosizer is a free batch photo/image resizer tool. It lets you resize hundreds of photos in a matter of minutes in a quick and easy way.
(The tip here can be good to know just for “GP”. You never know when you might want to email a large number of photos..)
Related: Home Inventory: How to Document Your Personal Property (there is also a link to two videos at the bottom..)
Not directly related: Back to School 2011: ‘What to buy your kid for college’ guide
“Back to School 2011: College is an investment, not just for those who go, but for parents too. Give your kid a helping hand with these tech essentials.” Read more…
Today’s quote: “My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit.” ~ Phyllis Diller
Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.
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