Do you have the winter time blues? Cabin fever? Looking for a way to pass the time? Why not take a few minutes if you’re stuck inside this winter to make a home inventory? If disaster strikes or your home is burglarized and your belongings are destroyed or stolen, a home inventory makes the insurance claims process a lot simpler. Being able to provide a detailed home inventory to a claims adjuster can help you and your home insurance company settle on a fair amount for your belongings and it helps you get your possessions replaced more quickly. Creating a home inventory doesn’t have to be completely daunting. Here are a few tips for compiling your home inventory:
- Details, details, details. A home inventory includes a comprehensive list of all your belongings, along with receipts (if you have them), photos, and descriptions. For items such as electronics be sure to record the serial number of the item.
- Divide and conquer. Instead of making one long list of your items, break it down by room and/or type of item, such as clothing, heirlooms, electronics, and jewelry. This will make the home inventory less overwhelming and decrease the chances that you’ll overlook something.
- Know what your stuff is worth. If you have antiques, family heirlooms, or other valuables that don’t have receipts, you may want to have them appraised in order to determine their value.
- Don't forget to check the attic. When taking your inventory, make sure you don’t overlook items that are stored in the closet, drawers, attic, or garage. Bicycles, holiday decorations, and sports equipment may be out of sight, but their cost adds up. Make sure you include everything – even if it’s in storage – on your list.
- Add it up. Once you have a full document of all your belongings, along with their values, add up all the items in your home and their total cost.
- Keep it safe. Store your complete home inventory with your insurance policy in a safe, easily accessible place, such as a fireproof box, safe deposit box, or other secure location.
- Take stock annually. Remember to review and update your inventory each year, or whenever you make a significant purchase, to ensure your new items are documented.
- Store info in the Cloud. The last thing you want is to have your inventory list get destroyed. There is online file storage like Know Your Stuff or DropBox where you can easily access your home inventory and not worry that your list burned up.
Trusted Choice ® offers a home inventory tool on our mobile app,which allows you to use your smart phone or tablet to take pictures and document important details of your belongings. It also allows you to maintain multiple inventories, so you can categorize your belongings by type (electronics, furniture, etc.) or by room in the house. The app is free and available through both the App Store and Google Play.