Sunday, March 11, 2012

Idiosyncrasies of an Inventory

You know those insurance commercials where they show everything all topsy turvy and then the insurance agent comes along and everything is made right again?

Yeah. TV magic. They leave a few things out.

We had something known as Replacement Cost on our policy. In my mind that meant, something burnt/overheated/melted and the insurance company would pay to replace it. Well...not exactly. In reality, the insurance rep itemized every single item in our house after the fire restoration companies took what they could attempt to clean. Every single item. Holy moly. Then, she made up a spread sheet and we had to add in a value for every single item. Every single item. Criminy. Then she returned the inventory with a check. Gasp! The check included the depreciated value for the item. Sigh.

Now, we shop for the item. We locate the line item number and record it on the sales receipt. We send the receipts in to the insurance company. They send back the replacement cost up to the limit or ACV (actual cost value) that they placed on each item. Oh fuuuuudge.

Problems, much? Yes.

First of all, we are a family of 7. There was a LOT of stuff in our house even after the fire restoration companies hauled away truckloads of our stuff. Second, a total stranger inventoried our stuff. She called our stuff names that are worthless to us.

Like this:
Handle for Ja-Ru. 
What in the name of toyland is a Handle for Ja-Ru?? We have no idea. It was worth $1.98. If we replaced it we would be paid $3.30 more. Anyone know where to buy a Handle for a Ja-Ru? Anyone know what a Ja-Ru is? And why we had one in our home?

So, this weekend I wanted to buy a toaster. Easy-peasy. Locate item on spreadsheet. Go buy item. Record line item number on receipt. Send off receipt and wait. Cripes. How many more items do we need to buy?

Toaster. Line 178 to be specific.
The inventory is the bane of my existence. If you have never had an inventory of your home completed by a total stranger, then you have never been properly humiliated. Trust me, there are things in your home you do not want to appear on an inventory. And your kids! For the love of all things sacred! Your kids do things you do not want to share with fire restoration company employees and insurance agents and demolition crews.

Case in point:
Top for a crutch.
Top for a crutch. I know. It seems innocent enough. The thing is, my teenage daughter, just days before the fire, had removed the tops from her crutches- you know, those gray, rubber, phallic-shaped things that go under your pits?- and drawn hair and other, um...accompanying features on them. She named them; Rick and Nick.  I'd given her a stern talking to between my own immature bursts of laughter, but since she had zebra-striped covers for them, I didn't make her throw them out. Who knew so many people would be traipsing through my house handling Nick and Rick?  

Sometimes, the inventory list, the bane of my existence, gives me a good giggle. 
EyeBROW curling things.
I can assure you, I have never in my life, curled my eyebrows. The very thought of it cracks me up. Yes, I'm sure she meant eyelash curler. Simple mistake. But, when I Ctrl+F and search for the line item number for my eyelash curler, it won't exist, because she called it an 'eyebrow curling thing'. So not helpful.

How can I get the full replacement cost for my eyelash curler if I can't locate it on the inventory? How? Whatever in the world will happen to us if we can't match up our replacement items with the inventory list?

We will get truly annoyed. That's what. Then we will momentarily forget how thankful we are that we had insurance and that nobody was hurt and that most of the animals made it out safe. For a brief period of time we will act pissy and say nasty things about the lady who did the inventory. Then, we'll pull up our big kid pants and march right back to the store. Because we've got a handle for a Ja-Ru to shop for. And eyebrow curlers. And a toaster.  

Stupid crock. 


  1. Now you are making me cringe. I can just see the list now. 3 Go-Girls, 5 Ikea Plastic bowls, oh wait, we found 2 more in the area around your daughter's room.

  2. Oh, the beauty of the inventory was that everything the kids claimed they had never absconded with was listed exactly where it was found. There were forks, cups, plates, cereal bowls, tools, even a portable DVD player that 'nobody' had seen.