In the unfortunate case your possessions are stolen or destroyed in a fire or other disaster, having an itemized list of all your belongings is crucial. You may be surprised just how much value those individual possessions add up to when you really start to think about what it would cost to replace them. A home inventory will help you buy the right amount of insurance, check losses for your income tax return and settle your insurance claim faster.
Why Do You Need a Home Inventory?
A household inventory can be a life saver at claim time, when it comes to your insurance company replacing those cherished items that you value so much. The ability to simply hand over a home inventory will save you time and frustration when the insurance adjuster has to account for items damaged in the loss. Your itemized list will also help with the replacement costs of your property and help you to determine ahead of time if you have the necessary insurance coverage to replace your assets. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for your personal possessions for approximately 50 to 70 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. So the best away to find out if you have the right coverage is to make a household inventory.
Here are a Few Options
Make a list – Break your list into categories by room, appliance type, item value, or how you feel it best makes sense. Be sure to provide the make and model number or serial number to better assist in getting the item replaced appropriately.
Take pictures – Taking photos of all your items is a great way to show condition, record serial numbers and show placement in your home. Depending on how you would prefer to document the item, the photos can be printed and information written on the back or a photo file can be created on the computer with information typed in the notes. Be sure to save the file to a location accessible online in case your computer is destroyed. You can email the images to yourself or save them to Google Drive for safekeeping… and it is free!
Video each room – A video recording is probably the quickest, but may not be the most accurate method unless you know every model number of the items in your home. If disaster occurs and you have never completed a home inventory, a video recording would be a great way to help document the items in your home. Again, a video could also be uploaded to a private account on Google Drive.
Worth the Effort
Remember to store your inventory materials and data and in a safe location, separate from your home in either a safe deposit box at your bank or with your attorney or insurance agent. Make a digital copy and store that as well. If you are using software it still isn’t a bad idea to print the inventory and store it. Once you have compiled your list, it’s important to remember to continually update your inventory by adding newly purchased items and deleting those you no longer have in your possession. Ultimately, there’s really no downside to completing a household inventory. Do it today and you’ll be glad you did.
If you need help in your restoration efforts following an unfortunate event, contact our professionals at Xtreme Home Improvement. We can help you with clean-up and restoration following water damage, fire, smoke damage, and more. We care about helping you and your family.