Time to Do a Home Inventory

Posted by Andrea Chatwood January 6, 2014

How to Take Stock of Your Stuff

Do a home inventory to protect your valuables.

Spending the holidays with friends and family is a great time to appreciate the aspects of life that come without a price tag. But now as we enter the New Year, it might just be the perfect time to take stock of your material possessions. Did you get a great gift for the holidays? Maybe a diamond ring, a new musical instrument, or a beautiful watch? All of these items should be insured, and just as importantly, added to your home inventory list.

What is a home inventory list, you ask? Once created, it will be the most valuable item in your house.

The first step is to write down every item in your house that you would want and expect to be covered by your insurance. This list should include your computers, TVs, jewelry, antiques, china, art, furniture, gardening equipment, tools and many other things. Include serial numbers if you have them, and take pictures of each item. Mark down the item’s condition, and how much you paid for it (including a receipt image would be ideal).

Another way to approach the home inventory list is to create a home inventory video. Videotape all of the valuable items in your home, making sure to zoom in on the smaller items. You should still document, whether by video or in an accompanying report, their serial numbers and other identifying markers.

The more specificity you include, the more likely you’ll be able to get a claim filed quickly, and at the right amount, should anything ever happen to your stuff.

In addition, there are several Home Inventory software programs available. However you choose to make your list, it’s important to back-up this information and store it in a secure offsite storage facility, just in case your home is severely damaged.

This is an opportunity to learn the real value of your items, especially art and jewelry, and serves as a reminder to get them appraised often. The value of these types of items can go up over time, so you should also make sure they are insured for the right amount. Be sure to check with your agent that your policy covers all your belongings, even the most personal and valuable items.

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