You may think that you know exactly what is in your home. However, when it comes to the aftermath of a disaster, and you have to list which items you’ve lost, valuing your personal property from memory is harder than you think.
For this reason, home insurers ask homeowners to complete a thorough home inventory of all possessions. By having a physical list and photographic evidence of home contents, insurers can match coverage to the value of items accurately. Also, filing a claim is made that much simpler!
Here’s how to get started!
Put It On Paper
Write down a list of all of your belongings. The written description should include the date of purchase, original cost, and any improvements. Write down serial numbers for TVs, computers, and electronics, as well as keeping receipts along with the paperwork. As you sell or buy new belongings, ensure to add or remove the items from this list.
If you have a video camera, use it to establish additional documentation of your home and belongings for insurance purposes. Recording valuable items may be used as evidence in the case of theft, fire, or damage. As a rule of thumb, scan all rooms, shoot close-ups of all valuable items, and provide auto-commentary of details that may not be visually apparent. Store this tape in a locked file cabinet and upload it to the computer so that you have a digital copy.
Once you’ve captured all of your belongings on video and paper, you’ll want to store these files safely. If your home burns down, a home inventory will be of little use if it burns down with it. First, make a digital copy of both and email them to yourself. Secondly, keep the papers and video film in a fireproof box safely in the home or outside of the property.
Once you have established a complete inventory of your property, it should be easy to update it periodically.