Your homeowners insurance provides coverage for the contents of your home, up to the limit you selected with your insurance agent. In the event of a covered loss, you would be expected to provide a list of all of your personal property that was damaged or stolen, along with its estimated value and age at the time of loss.
If a loss occurred today, would you be able to compile such a list? Would you trust yourself to remember every item in your home and the approximate value of each item? If you are like most people, it would be very difficult. An accurate inventory and proof of ownership at the time of a loss can make the claim settlement process easier and faster.
Start now even if your information is incomplete. A good home inventory includes a detailed list of your possessions, including receipts, descriptions, and photos of your home contents.
o Start with new purchases and add older items later.
o Group your possessions into logical categories, e.g., by hobby, by room in your home, etc.
Be specific. For example: Sony 42 inch flat panel LED television. Better yet, write down the serial number. This will ensure the item is valued correctly.
o Keep a detailed record of antiques, jewelry, major appliances and collector’s items.
o Scan and store copies of invoices for large items purchased in case proof of ownership is needed.
Photograph or videotape each room in your home, including inside closets, storage buildings, the attic, and the garage. Open drawers and photograph the contents. Label and date when the photographs or videos were taken.
o Save your photographs, videotapes, and any documents on a computer. Consider keeping the items in your e-mail archives so you can access them wherever you can log onto a computer.
Don’t miss items you rarely use, such as holiday decorations, sports equipment and tools.
How to Store your Home Inventory List:
Keep a copy in a safe deposit box.
Keep a copy in a fireproof container.
Give a copy to a trusted family member who doesn’t live in your home.
File a copy with your insurance agent.
Email a copy to your workplace.
Keep an electronic version stored in your personal email so you access it wherever you can log onto a computer.
Updating Your Home Inventory:
It is a good idea to update your Home Inventory list annually to include any new items that have been added to your household, and also to remove items that you no longer have. You may want to update it whenever you purchase high value items.