Let’s start this out with a relevant quote: “the worst time to find out about no coverage is after a loss.”

That said, we’re not insurers. In fact, we had to spell check the word “insurers” just to get it spelled right. I’m guessing you already knew that anything you read in this post needs to be checked out with your personal insurance agent.

A recent thread in WoodNet got me thinking insurance and tool coverage, and so I read through it and pulled out some of the best information for you.

1) do a video inventory showing serial numbers, model number, and all that. don’t forget to store said video somewhere other than your house.

2) If you have a question on coverage and a agent tells you “don’t worry, it’s covered” be sure to get it in writing.

3) From a former claims adjuster:
We keep a list with model and serial numbers. We also take a video of our stuff. We do a walk thru with the video, starting in the kitchen, open the doors and drawers of cabinets, cubboards etc. We do each room. Close up video’s of valuables, owner manuels, receipts, etc. As long as you plan ahead and get the paperwork, manuels,receipts etc ready and don’t attempt to outshine Cecil b DeMille it won’t take that long. Big manilla envelope holds it all. A copy is kept at my BIL’s home and we keep a copy of his stuff here.

4) One member recommended using his woodshop software program ShopFileR for keeping records. We haven’t used it and only mention it here for you to check out yourself.

5) Not really advice, but a best of a bad situation scenario:
I actually had a break in while on vacation a few years back and got wiped out except for my table saw that could not be moved because it was blocked in by my car. I went round and round with State Farm about my coverage because I could not show them all of my receipts (moving a few times makes you get rid of things). The only thing that saved my bacon was the fact that I had all of my service manuals in two three ring binders with the serial numbers of each piece recorded on the front of them.

Here’s the original WoodNet thread that set this post off: Are your tools insured?

And here’s a thread that’s more business oriented from over at the ContractorTalk forum: Tool Insurance