Anita Leverenz, contributor

Anita Leverenz suffered a total loss in the Corral Fire in Malibu 2007 and is 20+ year veteran of real estate finance. Today, Anita uses her family’s experience to help families living in fire, earthquake, or flood areas plan ahead.

…We awoke to a fire in our canyon. Notified by phone from a friend around 4:00 am, we packed a suitcase planning on being evacuated for the second time in just a month. When we left our house that early morning we had no idea we would never see our house or our personal belongings ever again. Once that happens, the shock and tears begin at once and they last for months.

The struggle to deal with an insurance requirement, a home inventory of personal property losses, proved to be a long and daunting task that took me almost six months to complete. Luckily, I had asked Brad to take photos of our house about two weeks before the fire. The ability to look back at the photos to help compile an inventory of our personal property as well as the home improvements that had been made to our house was very helpful. After your life has turned upside down you just don’t have the wherewithal to make inventory lists from memory and you do not get paid for your personal property without one.

Knowing what I know now from experiencing this tragedy first hand, I wish our photos would have been even more detailed. My husband, Brad, founded DocuHome as a service to help others prepare for an event such as ours. I hope you never need it, but speaking from experience, it is necessary to have.

Your home and its furnishings are normally your greatest possessions. Taking stock of your real and personal property not only provides a measure to compare your insurance coverage by, it also allows an individual to gain a true perspective of what your possessions mean to you.

In conclusion, we hope that you will never experience the loss of your home. However, if a loss should occur, a DocuHome home inventory will make the difference between an inadequate restoration of your home and its furnishing and gaining all that is rightfully yours from your insurance policy.

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