How to Create a Home Inventory and Why You Need One
Your homeowners insurance provides coverage for the contents of your home specified on your homeowners policy. In the event of a covered loss, you would be expected to provide a list of all of your personal property that was damaged or stolen, along with its estimated value and age at the time of loss.
Everyone should have a home inventory list in case the worst should happen. A comprehensive home inventory will help your agent ensure you have enough personal property coverage in the event of a loss. If a loss occurred today, would you be able to compile such a list? Would you trust yourself to remember every item in your home and the approximate value of each item?
If you are like most people, it would be very difficult. An accurate inventory and proof of ownership at the time of a loss can make the claim settlement process easier and faster. That’s why Bearingstar Insurance has developed this Home Inventory document complete with a room guide you can download and save.
- Start now even if your information is incomplete. A good home inventory includes a detailed list of your possessions, including receipts, descriptions, and photos of your home contents.
- Start with new purchases and add older items later.
- Group your possessions into logical categories, e.g., by hobby, by room in your home, etc.
- Be specific. For example: Sony 42 inch flat panel LED television. Better yet, write down the serial number. This will ensure the item is valued correctly. Serial numbers also help the police if an item is stolen.
- Keep a detailed record of antiques, jewelry, major appliances and collector’s items. Some items may need special coverage separate from your homeowners policy
- Scan and store copies of invoices for large items purchased in case proof of ownership is needed.
- Photograph or video each room in your home, including inside closets, storage buildings, the attic, and the garage. Open drawers and photograph the contents. Label and date when the photographs or videos were taken.
- Don’t miss items you rarely use, such as holiday decorations, sports equipment and tools.
- You can also try doing a digital inventory. There are many mobile apps that can help you create and store a room-by-room record of your belongings.
- Don’t get overwhelmed. Once you’ve started your inventory, keep going even if you can’t get it all done immediately. It’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all.
How to Store your Home Inventory List
- Keep a copy in a safe deposit box or fire proof container.
- Give a copy to a trusted family member who doesn’t live in your home.
- File a copy with your insurance agent.
- Keep an electronic version stored in your personal email or cloud storage.
Updating Your Home Inventory
It is a good idea to update your home inventory list annually to include any new items that have been added to your household, and to remove items that you no longer have. You may want to update it whenever you purchase high value items. Jewelry, art, and collectibles may have values that exceeds the coverage limits of your homeowners policy and may require special coverage. While you’re making your home inventory, check with your insurance agent to make sure you have proper coverage for these items.
Have more questions about your coverage or home inventory guide? Contact us today!