Experiencing a major loss from flood, theft, or fire is devastating enough. Now imagine trying to recall each one of your personal belongings that was damaged or destroyed. It is a daunting task, which is why taking a home inventory prior to a loss is essential. Fortunately, taking a home inventory is simple if you follow our lead.
Helpful tips for creating a home inventory list:
|The first home inventory option is to write down every item in your home that you would expect to be covered by your homeowners insurance. This includes things like computers, TVs, antiques, paintings, appliances, jewelry, furniture, silverware, tools, and more. At the very least, write down the name and description of the piece. Pictures are helpful too. If possible, jot down the serial number. If you have a unique antique or special jewelry items, be sure to have those items appraised.|
Another great way to approach a home inventory is by creating a video. Create a video recording of all of the valuables in your home, making sure to zoom in on the small items and identifying markers. Be sure to include a narrative with relevent information pertaining to the individual pieces.
Looking for a technologically savvy way to manage your home inventory? There are home inventory software programs available. This is a great way to organize and store your data. Some insurance carriers contract with these software providers, which allows clients to purchase the software at discounted rates. Ask your agent if there are any discounts or special offers available for inventory software. Another tool worth considering is the Insurance Information Institute’s “Know Your Stuff” free home inventory program.
Once you’ve completed your inventory, you should store it in a safe, accessible place. After all, this documentation is useless if it is also destroyed by a fire, flood, or stolen along with your personal computer. A good way to store your inventory, for example, is to place a copy in a safe deposit box and have an online backup copy with a service like Carbonite. Once you've completed your inventory, you should also discuss it with your insurance agent to make sure your valuable belongings are covered properly by your homeowners insurance.