We wish nothing bad would ever happen to our homes. Unfortunately, whether it’s a nasty storm, a flood, a burglary, or a fire, bad things do happen.
For that reason, we all have homeowner’s insurance for our properties. But, how will the insurance company know how much your possessions cost to replace if they – or you – don’t know what possessions you actually have?
In other words, do you have a home inventory that lists all of your possessions and how much they’re worth?
If not, it’s time to create one!
Why a Home Inventory Matters
If your home and what’s inside of it become damaged or destroyed, you’ll be faced with the daunting task of putting everything back together and replacing what you’ve lost.
Without a record of what you owned, it can be very difficult – if not impossible – to fully replace everything and/or get full value from your insurance company when they process your claim.
A home inventory matters because it gives you a place from which you can recover from a disaster. It makes filing a claim much easier and dramatically increases the chances of getting adequate compensation from your insurer.
Simple Steps for Creating an Inventory
Creating an inventory may seem like a daunting task, but it’s not as time-consuming as you’d think.
Go room by room and list everything of significance. Provide details for each item: when you bought it, where you got it from, and how much it cost. If it’s something that has risen in value and has been appraised, note the latest appraised value (and if you have any documentation to support it).
Also, be sure to describe the item in sufficient detail so that you can find a replacement later.
Next, take pictures of each room. Take a picture of the room as it is, anything of value or significance, and anything in drawers, cabinets, and closets. You may not want to take a picture of everything on your list, but you’ll want to visually record the important things.
If you can also film a video, even better.
As you obtain new possessions, add them to the list. Keep a paper copy and also make your list digital and upload it to a cloud service. Send it to your insurer as well, so they can give you proper coverage. Make sure your paper copy is safely stored somewhere, along with all your important documents. If possible, create two copies of all important paperwork, one in your home (in a fire-proof safe) and the other kept out of your home.
Disaster can strike. If it does, you want to be able to recover. Follow this advice and you’ll be able to get back on your feet should something bad happen.