Any of ya'll ever do a shop inventory for insurance purposes?

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Forum topic by Vrtigo1 posted 08-11-2011 04:25 AM 924 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 2414 days

08-11-2011 04:25 AM

I just did one and updated my homeowners policy to make sure all my tools will be covered should the worst happen. I wrote down all the models, serial #s, etc and I also spent about 30 minutes to go through my records and figure out the prices I paid and the prices it would be if I had to buy everything again. I came up with 42 items that I considered worth writing down (i.e. no hand tools since all of the ones I have are cheap like $15 for a pack of chisels from the borg, etc). The total I spent on those tools was $5700 and retail value is about $9200 (I got a lot of smaller stuff and all but one or two stationary tools from Craigslist). The value is actually quite a bit less than what I had expected, by about 20-30%.

Just wondering if anyone else has taken the time to go through and write down everything you have and figure up what you’ve spent on tools. I’d be interested to see where I fall.

17 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1610 posts in 2884 days

#1 posted 08-11-2011 04:35 AM

I did one years ago and should probably update it. When I did the initial I also took pics of all the big machines and a video as well. Thanks for the reminder

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2481 days

#2 posted 08-11-2011 05:06 AM

My insurance agent advised me to take pics of everything. Personally, I would include the hand tools in the inventory as well. I have some hand tools that do have some value and also, to replace them with similar quality would certainly cost a pretty chunk of change. Also, don’t forget items such as tool boxes, shop cabinets, etc. All of that stuff had a cost associated and certainly would not be free to replace. For this purpose, it is irrelevant if an item was free or inexpensive. What matters is, what would it cost to replace the item. My guess is that while I probably have somewhere between $5,000 to $10,000 actually invested in the tools in my shop, my guess would be that it would cost closer to $20,000 to replace with tools of equivalent quality and function. Still, I hope I never have to file such a claim.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2983 days

#3 posted 08-11-2011 05:46 AM

I have a room by room spreadsheet listing all the pertinent information for every “significant” item in the house and shop. The computer that the list resides on is backed up daily to an online service so in the event the computer is destroyed by fire, storm, or theft, the data can still be located. I also have digital photos of major items stored on the same computer.

-- Joe

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3316 days

#4 posted 08-11-2011 06:10 AM

not any more, used to but somewhat pointless now.

thank God for miracles

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2414 days

#5 posted 08-11-2011 03:41 PM

I am a little confused about how the insurance claim process works…I guess I should ask my agent (my wife)!

If I have stuff that I built like cabinets, router table, etc, would the insurance cover that as well or will it only cover stuff that has a model number and can be replaced by buying another one? I have a pretty good idea of what that stuff cost me to build, but unfortunately don’t have all the receipts. I.E. for something like a router table, I have the cost for the components that went into it like wood, hardware, etc which probably cost me $300 or so. Do you think that’s something I could get reimbursed for if my house burned down or would they kick it back because it was something that I built and didn’t buy put together?

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2115 days

#6 posted 08-11-2011 03:51 PM

This is a great reminder. It’s also a really good example of how inexpensive this hobby is compared to others. Boating, cars, even golfing is quite expensive in comparison. There are very few adult hobbies where $50,000 can pretty much set you up for a decade or more of enjoyment.

Correct me if I’m wrong here. Have you priced outboard saltwater motors lately? ;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2414 days

#7 posted 08-11-2011 04:03 PM

Al, I’d imagine a good outboard runs you 8-10k. In that respect, a SawStop of PM66 seems like a bargain. Even that nice 8” PowerMatic jointer I’ve been trying to convince the wife I need looks cheap in comparison. She’s been trying to convince me that we need a boat, so now I’ll have to tell her that she should take up woodworking and we can save a ton of money! Funny, I’ve never thought about it like that before.

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2115 days

#8 posted 08-11-2011 04:27 PM

I never really thought about it either, Vrtigo1, until I met a friend that liked to race cars as a hobby. He, of course, liked to work on them as well. It wasn’t uncommon to see a used box of Snap-On mechanics tools sell for $20,000 on Craigslist. Some of those boxes you see at the mechanics could have $50,000 or more in a single tool chest. This same guy liked watersports and had a boat, a few waverunners, etc. He also liked motorcycles and had a dirt bike here, a streetbike there. He made a good living but always seemed broke. One day over a few beers, he confided in me how expensive these hobbies were and the insurance he paid to keep himself protected.

He could have bought your 8” PM jointer every month in just his insurance premiums. Remind the better half about how inexpensive you are to keep around. I know I do!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Manitario's profile


2393 posts in 2305 days

#9 posted 08-11-2011 08:14 PM

I have a crappy video of my workshop where I show all my tools and comment on their brand etc. I should probably submit a formal inventory to my insurance agency though.
Cr1: your insurance company just pays whatever you tell them??? Sign me up!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2654 days

#10 posted 08-11-2011 08:19 PM

Yep, I maintain my shop tour here that is fairly complete. I have a MUCH more complete including values, and source of all my equipment including materials used to build tables, jigs, and other shop fixtures. I keep a shop tour video fairly up to date as well… What I paid, and replacement value are 2 totally different things. For one thing, if I lost everything at once, I wouldn’t be able to spend the time piecemeal hunting down used and on sale items. My time has value as well… I pay extra for extra coverage though…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View DrDirt's profile


4141 posts in 3164 days

#11 posted 08-11-2011 09:12 PM

I really wonder what the agent needs. I know I no longer have all of the receipts – do they even matter? Our Homeowners policy is for replacment costs, so I have assumed that I have to show what I have, Model and serial number…but if you don’t stil have the (no completely blackened) thermal ribbon receipt, is that going to stil be needed.
If you don’t have one – what do you do? (before a theft I mean)

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View Chris 's profile


1877 posts in 3413 days

#12 posted 08-11-2011 09:32 PM

Trust me; I lost everything in a house fire May 2004. If you have an inventory w/ pictures your life will be much easier if you must file for any sort of loss.

I did not have the pics and inventory; Don’t let it happen to you!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Chris 's profile


1877 posts in 3413 days

#13 posted 08-11-2011 09:34 PM

Also, The receipts are nice but can degrade over time. It’s best to Document the purchase date, cost, model & Serial number in the inventory along with the pics. You shouldn’t have any issues after that….

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Richard's profile


1871 posts in 2113 days

#14 posted 08-11-2011 09:36 PM

Well iif your good at useing Photoshop or something similar, you could whip up a brand new batch of receipts for all the stuff you have and the stuff you still want.
But you might want to make sure you have cr1’s insurance agent first. :)

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2345 days

#15 posted 08-12-2011 02:00 AM

I have a spreadsheet with item,s/n if applicable. brand and price I paid for it. I keep a backup of this file also.

-- Life is good.

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