What is it?
A home inventory is a list of the items in your home, including artwork, jewelry, clothing, furniture, and any other item of personal or monetary value that exists within your home.
Why should I make one? That sounds like a lot of work.
By having a home inventory, you are protecting yourself and your assets from loss. In the event of a disaster, you will have a complete list of the items that might possibly need replacing, and you will be able to provide that to your field adjuster so that they can accurately determine the amount for your claim. This can expedite claim settlement, since the items in need of replacing will be entirely listed out and will specify costs. It can also verify your property (especially in the event of a fire, where the property may have been completely destroyed), and can verify your losses for your income tax return.
Okay, so how do I go about making one?
- Start now! Starting with recent purchases and moving backwards can help get you into the habit of keeping track of the items in your home.
- Start small! Pick a contained area, like a particular cabinet or shelf, and move forward from there.
- List out items and describe them. Include make and model if relevant, where it was purchased, and the cost if you are aware of it.
- Include receipts, contracts, and appraisals for items, especially those of significant value.
- Include a list of “big-ticket” items like jewelry, artwork, collectibles, etc.
- Use apps! That’s right – there’s an app for this. You can go room by room and enter the contents of each, making it simple and easy to keep track. Keep in mind that you should still maintain a physical copy of your list, as well as a documents on your computer or an application like Google Docs that can be accessed even if the computer is destroyed.
- Take pictures of individual items.
- It is a good idea to take a video of a walkthrough of your home and describe the contents of each room as you go.
- Don’t get overwhelmed! This may seem like a daunting task, but once it’s finished you will have the peace of mind that you have ability to look back on your list and feel secure in the event of a disaster (or theft!).
Once your list is complete, don’t forget to keep it somewhere safe (but accessible enough that you can add new purchases to it) to safeguard against the loss of the list itself in the event of disaster. Good luck with your home inventory! We hope you’ll never have to use it!