Having an up-to-date, accurate inventory of the possessions in your home can help you be more prepared in case of a fire or other disaster. Creating a home inventory may be tedious, but it’ll be well worth the time in the event that you need to make an insurance claim.
Here are 5 simple steps you can take to create a home inventory.
1. Dedicate time to walking through your property.
It’s important to have a detailed inventory of your home in case of an emergency. This can feel overwhelming, but it’s easy to break up by working on one room’s inventory at a time.
- Pick one room to start taking your inventory. Go through drawers, closets and cabinets in this room and make a list of individual items. You can also take photos or videos of rooms and items. Once you’re completely done with one room, move on to the next.
- Write a short description of items. Label photos of rooms and especially valuable individual times with a short description. This can include the price, where you bought it, and serial number. If you don’t remember these details, you can write a simple description of the item.
2. Include business assets, belongings in storage, and important documents.
It’s easy to forget items that aren’t directly in front of you while you’re making a home inventory. If you have a business, you should document its contents. It’s also important to record items that you keep in a storage facility in your inventory, as some homeowners policies include coverage for personal possessions kept in a storage facility. Make copies of important documents and forms using a scanner.
3. Take stock of valuable items.
When you take your inventory, make sure you include items like jewelry, art, electronics, and rare items or collectibles. These can increase in value over time. Talk with your insurance agent to see if you need specific supplemental coverage for these items.
4. Keep your inventory up-to-date.
There are a couple of ways to keep your home inventory updated. You can add individual items to the inventory when you make a large purchase, as the details will still be at the top of your mind. You can also go through rooms once a month or at another scheduled time to add new items and delete items that you’ve replaced or no longer own.
5. Store the inventory in a secure location.
An easy way to keep your inventory safe is to store it in a digital format. Type the inventory into a spreadsheet or document and store it in a cloud-based service like Box or Google Drive. If you take photos or videos to go along with your inventory, you should also upload those along with your inventory.
If you take your inventory on a physical piece of paper, you may want to store it off-site. In this case, if you experience an emergency at home, you can still access your inventory.
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