Whether you are a home owner or a renter, having an up-to-date inventory of your belongings can be an invaluable resource, particularly for insurance purposes.
The contents of your home are covered up to a certain limit by your homeowner’s policy. If you have a fire or burglary in your home, your insurance company will expect you to have a home inventory on hand. This accurate record of what you own can be used to prove your losses and itemize what needs to be replaced, including furniture, appliances, jewelry, electronics and art.
You may think you’ll remember your possessions; however in the middle of a traumatic event like a fire or burglary, you can easily forget what you have.
A home inventory also can usually ensure a quick settlement of your claim. As well, it will give you peace of mind that you do have the appropriate amount of coverage and raise a red flag for you if you don’t. Many of us forget how much it would cost to replace our possessions. Lastly, a home inventory is a great place to store receipts and other documentation.
Creating the inventory
There are a number of ways of creating a home inventory. At minimum you should have a written list, which can be stored on a USB flash drive in case your computer is stolen or destroyed.
This list should include details on size, condition and cost (with original receipts if possible). A video diary is an even better method; the pictures can be useful not just to the insurance company but also to the police in the event of a theft.
Online inventories available
There also is home inventory software available online, or your insurance company may have inventory forms and preparation guidelines available.
You also may want to invest in a safety deposit box to store your inventory offsite. That way, if your home is destroyed, your records will remain intact.
It may take some time to put together an inventory of all your possessions, but if you ever need to refer to it, you’ll find it time well spent.