Make a Home Inventory!

home inventoryDo you know anyone who has lost their home in a fire? Or how about valuables in a burglary? It’s a frightening thing to think about, but one you really need to prepare for to help ease the burden of recalling details while filing an insurance claim. You’ve probably thought about this before, but it always seems to slip the “To-do” list.

This January, while you’re setting up your 2016 budget, add just one more item to that list and take a home inventory – which is basically a list of every valuable item in your home, when you bought it, and how much it costs. In the event that your home is destroyed, an inventory can save you – not only in terms of time, but also in terms of how much you’ll recover from your insurance company.

Typically, after a major disaster, insurance representatives will ask you to recount the items in your home – your TV, your dining room table, the antique jewelry in your attic – and then compensate you for these items, sometimes in the form of a check. If you’ve got an inventory, you’re ahead of the game.

But where do you start? Let’s make this a little easier:

1. Take four photos of every room.
Snap a shot of each angle so you’ll have a visual memory of what was there, as well as proof that you owned those items. Even better, video each room and save to a thumb drive.  

2. Room by room, write down your valuables.  (Click here)
Make a spreadsheet. The key is to write down the name of each item, the date you purchased it, the cost and the serial number (if applicable). If you have receipts, attach them. Be sure to provide as much information as you can about as many items as possible, so your insurance company will have an easier time knowing how much to compensate.

3. For bonus points, go into closets, drawers and garages, too.
They’re home to some of the most expensive possessions in our homes. Take photos of these spots too, and estimate the cost of the items inside.

4. Show your list to an insurance company.
You can work with an agent to make sure the valuables you own are indeed covered in case of an emergency. They can also help you secure riders for that precious guitar or high-cost painting. Then, store it in an offsite location, such as a safe deposit box at the credit union. Or with a trusted friend or relative.

5. Update your list each year.
Once you have a base list, it’s easy. Just add any new acquisitions – the flatscreen you got for Christmas, a new vintage coat – to your home inventory to keep it current. You’ll also update your ability to rest easy, knowing that you’ve got a backup list in the event of disaster.

We hope you’ll never have to use this inventory, but you’ll enjoy peace of mind having it all organized in advance!

Source: Huffington Post