Would you be able to remember and list all the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years if they were destroyed by a fire or weather catastrophe?
An up-to-date home inventory is critical to your peace of mind and restoration. An inventory will:
— Help get your insurance claim settled faster
— Help verify losses for your income tax return
— Help you purchase the correct amount of insurance
To begin your home inventory, write a list of possessions
Free, printable home inventory list templates are available in many places via the internet, like this one for Excel 2010. Or you can create your own:
— Describe each item, noting where you bought it and its make and model.
— Clip to your list any sales receipts, purchase contracts, and — appraisals you have.
— For clothing, count the items you own by category — pants, coats, shoes, for example — making notes about those that are especially valuable.
— For major appliance and electronic equipment, record their serial numbers usually found on the back or bottom.
Get started today on your home inventory
Don’t put it off. If you are just setting up a household, starting an inventory list can be relatively simple. If you’ve been living in the same house for many years, however, the task of creating a list can be daunting. Still, it’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all. Start with recent purchases and then try to remember what you can about older possessions.
Schedule big-ticket items on your home inventory
Valuable items like jewelry, art work and collectibles may have increased in value since you received them. Check with your agent to make sure you have adequate insurance for these items. They may need to be insured separately or “scheduled.”
Improve your home inventory with pictures
In addition to your home inventory list, you can take pictures of rooms and important individual items. On the back of printed photos, note what is shown and where you bought it or the make. Don’t forget things that are in closets or drawers. Smartphones make quick work of this effort. Email digital copies of your photos to your agent for backup storage.
Make a home inventory video
Walk through your house or apartment capturing video and describing the contents. Here’s a great video that explains the process:
You can also do much the same thing using a voice recorder.
Use a personal computer to keep track of your home inventory
Use your PC to make your inventory list. Personal finance software packages often include a homeowners room-by-room inventory program. And there are many inexpensive software applications available in the marketplace.
Store the home inventory somewhere else
Regardless of how you do it (written list, floppy disk, photos, videotape or audio tape), keep your home inventory and receipts in your safe deposit box, at a friend’s or relative’s home, or your agent’s office. That way you’ll be sure to have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged.
Keep your home inventory current
Each time you make a significant purchase, add the new information to your home inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.
We hope that nothing terrible ever happens to your home.
But if it does, an up-to-date home inventory – and the right kind of insurance coverage – will make all the difference.
Please don’t hesitate to email Mountain Lakes Insurance or call 770-926-9444 to request that we verify that your home and its contents are protected.