Benefits of a home inventory and how to get started.
If your home suffered a disaster tomorrow and your belongings were destroyed, would you remember everything you owned off the top of your head? Would you recall the value, make, model, and condition? Most homeowners would struggle. That is why a home inventory is an essential part of protecting your property.
Why Create a Home Inventory?
In order to settle a homeowner insurance claim, the insurer needs to know what the stolen or damaged items were, when you purchased them, their value, and any other details you can recall. Most people would not be able to do this by memory for all their possessions, especially after a traumatic experience like a disaster or a burglary. Having a home inventory on hand will allow you to know exactly what you lost, and it gives the insurer a better understanding of how they can help you recover.
In addition to aiding the claims process after a disaster, a home inventory can help you keep track of warranties, establish how much home insurance you really need, and highlight issues to consider in financial planning. Although a written list is a great start, taking photographs and video recordings can ultimately help you prove ownership of items.
How to Get Started
- Gather needed supplies: a camera and document holder for any receipts.
- Move room by room to make the task easier.
- Capture each item separately. Sets of items, such as dinner plates, can be photographed together.
- Record each item, paying particular attention to any model or serial numbers. Describe your belongings in as much detail as possible.
- Gather receipts of any belongings and keep them safe.
- Pay particular attention to big-ticket items.
- Keep the digital recording safe. Email a version of it to yourself or save it in the cloud so that you can access it anywhere.
- Update your home inventory whenever you sell/donate/purchase items.