If a fire destroyed your home and belongings, would you be able to recall how many pots or pans you had? How many business shirts, movies, or jewelry? Do you remember where you purchased your furniture and how much it cost—or know what it would likely cost to replace?
Filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance carrier can be stressful, especially if you are not sure of how much stuff you have or how much it would cost to replace the items. A home full of belongings and valuables can be hard to keep track of. That’s why it is important to have a home inventory list, to keep track of your belongings and their value. When creating a home inventory list, there are a few important things to remember:
It can be hard to take time out of our busy schedules to make a long list of all the things you own, but accidents are never planned. It is better to make the time to create your home inventory list than to have something happen and be without it.
Pictures are a great way to keep track of the exact style or condition of your belongings. You can show that an item was new or in like new condition when it was damaged to ensure that you receive the most for its replacement costs. Video recordings also provide a great way to document what you have, the condition it is in, and where and how you kept your belongings stored. Visual documentation provides you with tangible evidence of what you owned.
Besides a paper copy, it is also a good idea to keep a digital copy stored on your computer or on a cloud service so that it can be located with ease. You don’t want to lose it when you need it the most!
In addition to keeping track of what you have, how much of each item you own, and what it costs, high-value items such as jewelry or art should also be appraised. Keep the appraisal in a safe place or store a digital copy of it. Your insurance carrier may require an appraisal in order to receive the full value of a damaged or stolen high-value item.
If you replace any of your belongings (whether upgrading your furniture or purchased jewelery) don't forget to update your home inventory list, and if the value of the new items are significant, then be sure to contact your independent insurance agent to help you review your policy and ensure you have the right coverage limits in the event of damage or loss.