Without looking, could you tell me how many pots and pans you have in your kitchen?
Disaster strikes. Are you able to remember ALL of your personal belongings? This is the worst time to try to remember that you had a Tiffany Sterling Silver Flatware set from Gramma that you had ‘safely’ tucked away years ago. And what about the $150 worth of cleaning supplies you have? You’re taking a BIG risk by not having a detailed inventory list.
What does a home inventory do for you?
- Gives you a detailed list of all of your belongings and their worth
- Allows you to make sure you have enough coverage for what’s in your home. You may be surprised that your personal property is worth more than you estimated. It also a good reminder to get your valuables scheduled if they need to be (talk to your Agent if you’re not sure if their full value is covered)
- Cuts down time on reimbursement by the Insurance Company in case you have a loss
- Following a catastrophe, the only way to determine whether you qualify for a tax break or disaster assistance is to substantiate your financial losses. A well-organized home inventory can be an extremely useful tool in this process
You can start TODAY!
Just pull out your phone and hit RECORD. Go room by room and pull open the closets, the drawers, the cubbies, open up that jewelry box and record everything you have – floor to ceiling. Go out to the shed, in the garage, around the house and in your yard .. keep recording. Don’t forget that items stored off site are also covered under your home owners insurance. Don’t forget to record serial and model numbers and any receipts you have. If something happens before you’re able to make a detailed list, you will at least have something to “jar” your memory of what you had or proof of your belongings. You can download your videos and save them in a safe spot.
Once you’re ready to start on that list, you will want to decide how you will store the information.
- I searched the App Store for “home inventory” and was surprised how many are free or low cost to help you on your mission. The Reviews people share on the App stores will help you decide. Or check with your insurance company and see if they have an App you can use.
- Use your phone, tablet or PC and start typing a list. You could always go room by room and send yourself an email with a list of items – make a folder called “home inventory” and store them there in your email.
- Hop on your PC and Google “home inventory sheets”. These will give you a checklist to be sure you don’t forget something. Or just grab an old spiral notebook and start writing.
And now you’re ready to go …
- Pick an easy spot to begin. Start small – Your kitchen appliance cabinet, a cabinet in the bathroom. When you’re done there, pick another spot.
- Give yourself a deadline – goals will help you get it done in a timely manner.
- Record basic information – Describe item, where you bought it, the make and model, serial number if applicable and how much you paid for it.
- Count clothing by category “10 pairs of shorts, 15 shirts” etc. If you have any items of value, make sure you make special notes.
- Keep proof of value – Appraisals, proof of purchase, contracts, receipts, etc.
- Leave that pad of paper out with a pen so when you step into the room, you can add another couple of items. You’ll be surprised how fast your list grows.
- Items which are antique, or irreplaceable should be discussed with your Agent to find out how to itemize them and how (or if) they will be paid in a claim
- Don’t get overwhelmed. A partial list is better than no list at all. Claims don’t wait until you’ve had the time.
Now that you’re done …
- Keep a hard copy and an electronic copy
- Store in an offsite location (relative’s home, safety deposit box, the cloud)
- Make sure you update your list often – especially if you make a large purchase
Don’t wait until it’s too late!
We are here to help you! If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.