fire insurance

Taking a Quick Video Could Bail You out After a Fire

NBC 7 Responds looked at why it's important to document everything in your home

NBC Universal, Inc.

Fires can strike at any time.

Whether a wildfire or house fire, they can be very destructive, and dealing with insurance afterward can be a hassle.

"Often after a fire, you have no sense of orientation when you're looking at a smoldering ruin of a house," State Farm insurance agent Walt Waggener told NBC 7 Responds.

Waggener lost his home to a fire a few years ago and has personally experienced just how important it is to document your belongings. He said that the best way to do that is to film a walk-through of your home.

"Open up the cupboards, open the drawers and shoot away," Waggener said. "Remembering all of the things on the wall, all of the things in the drawers or in the garage that you haven't used in a few years -- that's hard to do."

The insurance company will put the burden on you to remember what was inside your home and a video or photo can help remind you what was there.

"I can't overemphasize how difficult it is to try to remember what you had after a fire," Waggener said. "Do it when there's no pressure, but even if you just have five minutes before you evacuate, get as much done as you can."

Of course, its smarter to record the video before there is a fire, since you'll have more time and can do a more thorough job. Waggener also said that the more valuable the item, the more detailed the picture or video should be. He recommended taking a picture of any brand names or serial numbers.

"You can do it with a still camera, do it with your cell phone," Waggener said. "You can do it any way you want. Just do it."

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