A home inventory is something every homeowner (and renter) needs. It lists all of your personal possessions so if you ever need to file an insurance claim for damage or theft, you receive the right amount to replace what was lost.
Here are a few home inventory basics to keep in mind when you make yours.
Figure Out Where to Begin
The task of making a home inventory from scratch can seem daunting. One easy method is to focus on one room at a time. While you want to get this completed as quickly as possible, doing it this way allows you to take breaks without easily forgetting what still needs to be inventoried.
You might want to pick the toughest room (with the most things) as a way to get the hard part over with. You could also start with the easiest rooms to have a quicker sense of accomplishment. Either way, make a plan before you start so you can keep yourself organized.
Include Important Details for High Value Items
It’s not enough to note what the item is such as a “gold ring” or “laptop.” Your inventory needs enough details so an accurate value can be figured out later when you file a claim. Include the following information with each high-priced or high-value item:
- Describe each item.
- Include make and model
- State where it was purchased and how much you paid
- List the serial number
- Include other important details unique to the item
Keep Proof of High Value Items
For truly high value possessions, make sure you keep proof of purchase or of current assessed value. This means keeping receipts, proof of purchase documents, and appraisals. If you need to file a claim, this will help you receive what the item is actually worth.
Count Small Items by Category
For items like a computer or a piece of jewelry, it’s important to have as much information as possible. For basic items that are fairly easy to replace, you can be more general. When it comes to clothing, some kitchen items, and other less costly things, count the items instead of describing each one individually. For example:
- 5 pairs of jeans
- 7 t-shirts
- 10 glasses
- 5 spoons
There are so many ways to digitize your home inventory from taking pictures to keeping an Excel spreadsheet on your computer. Pick the method that works best for you, and then make sure you have back-up copies stored in secure places.
- Take pictures with your smartphone
- Transfer a written list to a spreadsheet
- Scan documents and receipts
- Record video and verbally describe items
- Use a home inventory app like Sortly or Memento Database
- Save documents in the cloud through Dropbox or Google Drive
Create an Update Schedule
Ideally you should update your home inventory whenever you buy new appliances or purchase a new electronic. But it’s easy to forget so set an update schedule for yourself. You ought to do it at least once a year, but more often is better. Put a reminder in your phone or write it in your calendar so you know when it’s time to update your home inventory.
Check Your Home Insurance Coverage
Your homeowners insurance policy includes coverage for your personal possessions. There will be some (but not a lot) of coverage for valuables like jewelry. Once you complete your home inventory, it’s important to compare that to your insurance policy. You may need to increase your coverage to make sure your personal belongings can be fully replaced if necessary. If you own valuables or collectibles, you will likely need separate coverage.
Without the right amount of insurance, you may not receive the replacement cost for your personal items or the correct value for your expensive possessions. To discuss your current insurance policy or receive a quote for more coverage, contact Charlotte Insurance, today.