Would you be able to remember all the possessions you have accumulated over the years if they were destroyed by a fire or other disaster?
Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.
Start by making a list of your possessions, describing each item and 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 appliances and electronic equipment, record the serial numbers, which are usually found on the back or bottom.
- Don’t be put 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, then try to remember what you can about older possessions.
- Big ticket items: Valuable items like jewelry, art work and collectibles may have increased in value since you received them. Check with your Insurance Center agent to make sure that you have adequate insurance for these items. They may need to be insured separately and it is important that we know about these items before there is a loss.
- Take a picture: You can also take pictures of rooms and important individual items to have a visual record of your belongings. On the back of the photos, note what is shown and where you bought it or the make.
- Create a digital record: Use your computer or mobile device to make your inventory list. There are many software options and mobile apps that can help you create a room-by-room record of your belongings.
Storing your list
Regardless of how you do it (written list, photos, computer hard drive, flash-drive, or in the cloud), keep a record of your inventory and protect it. Store it in a safety deposit box, in a strong safe or lockbox, on a cloud storage service, or with a friend. Just make sure it’ll survive if there’s ever major damage to your home. That way it will be easily available to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. When you make a significant purchase, add the information to your inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.
To learn more about creating a home inventory and what should be on it, contact your Insurance Center agent at 603.542.2551.
Information provided by iii.org.