Life is complicated, insurance doesn't have to be.
Read time: 3.5 minutes
A home inventory is a crucial tool to prepare you and your
family for storm season and other emergencies. By assessing what you
have in your home, you can feel confident when it comes time to
report what you’ve lost. To get you started, we’ve put together why
a home inventory is so important and some tips on how to make one
that works best for you.
What is a home inventory?
A home inventory is pretty much what it sounds like.
It’s a comprehensive list of your personal property at your residence.
For many homeowners, this is recommended by your insurance
company and is especially helpful in the event of a claim.
Why do I need a home inventory?
Should a loss occur, your insurance company will ask you to
produce a detailed inventory of all damaged or stolen property. By
preparing a home inventory ahead of time, your claim representative
can start analyzing your losses sooner.
Without one you’ll be left to try and remember what items are
missing or damaged and the original cost of the item. Those are
difficult things to remember without some sort of record!
A prepared home inventory can also save you a ton of time and
some stress when it comes time to report what you’ve lost.
Read more: How
to Select the Best Homeowners Insurance Coverage
What should I include in my home inventory?
Everything! Your home inventory list should include any
personal property that you want to ensure is documented in the event
of a loss. And we’re not just talking about the big or expensive
items such as televisions, appliances and furniture, but also the
dishes, bedding, clothing, or the fancy lamp your grandmother passed
down to you.
First, ask your insurance agent or, if you didn’t work with
an insurance agent, your home insurance company to see what
information they may require.
When you create your home inventory, you should include more
than just a description or video of the item. Consider including
these pieces of information in your home inventory:
How do I make a home inventory?
There are many ways you can approach making a home inventory.
Once you know what’s required, you can choose the method for
capturing the information that’s best for you.
Some insurance companies may provide a spreadsheet or list
you can fill out. Or, you can make your own with one of these methods:
Read more: 7
Things Nobody Tells You About Homeowners Insurance
Update your home inventory annually
Once you create your home inventory, don’t forget to set a
reminder on your calendar to update it at least yearly. A good time
to consider updating it is after the holidays. You may have larger
gifts you’d like to add to the inventory, along with any other items
you’ve acquired over the year. If you find yourself adding
high-value items, it may be a good time to consider a
separate policy for those items.
This is also a good time to consider reaching out to your
insurance agent if you made any significant improvements to your
home over the year and to review your limits on personal property
compared to your updated inventory.
Read more: You
Need to Tell Your Insurance Agent About Your Home Improvement
Projects, Here’s Why
Store your home inventory securely
Also, almost as important as creating the inventory is
finding a safe and accessible place to store it. If you opt for a
video or other digital format, save it somewhere secure that you
and other family members know how to access.
If you’re creating a physical/paper inventory, a firesafe
lockbox is a great place to store it. You may also want to consider
storing a copy of your inventory somewhere besides your home (like a
relative’s house) in case your copy is damaged.
Creating a home inventory is worth the effort and can save
you and your family a lot of time and stress down the road. If you
have questions about creating your home inventory, reach out to your
local, independent agent or, if you don’t work with an insurance
agent, your insurance company.
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