Whether you are moving in the near future or just settled into a new home, an inventory list can be great to have on hand for your homeowner’s insurance. Many disasters are unpredictable. Should anything happen to your home, an inventory list makes it easier to claim the proper items as a loss and replace them. Here’s how to make your home inventory list for insurance.
Why Make a Home Inventory List?
Home inventory lists are critical when it comes to protecting yourself against a loss. You don’t need to live in a disaster prone area to have an up-to-date catalog of all of your belongings and their value — fire, theft, and other accidental damage can happen anywhere.
3 Types of Home Inventory
Home inventories used to live on a piece of paper in a file or safe deposit box, but these days you have three types of inventory to consider.
- Written: Home inventory checklists or spreadsheets are great for this type.
- Digital: Digital home inventories use apps to record all important information. These can be saved to the cloud in perpetuity and for easy access.
- Visual inventory: Both written and digital home inventories often include a visual record of your belongings. Taking pictures or video of your home can provide critical information for insurance.
Regardless of type, all home inventory lists should include:
- – Item description
- – Make, model, and serial number if applicable
- – Value of the item
- – When it was acquired
- – Appraisals (plus appraiser’s contact information)
- – Receipts of purchase
- – Warranty information
What’s Included in a Home Inventory List?
In a nutshell, your home inventory list includes anything that is in the home but not attached to it. For example, light fixtures are not a part of a home inventory, but your antique table lamps are.
Additionally, if you have a separate shed or outbuilding on your property or rent a storage facility, these items are also included in your home’s inventory.
What May Not Be Covered
Basic home insurance policies may not cover expensive items such as furs, jewelry, and certain electronics. They should be part of your overall inventory, but you may need to purchase additional coverage for their full value.
6 Tips for Starting Your Home Inventory List for Insurance
Creating a home inventory for every room and personal belonging in your house can be intimidating. But these six tips can help.
1. Break It Into Categories
It can help to divide your belongings into categories to make the task more manageable. Consider broad groupings such as:
- – Electronics
- – Furniture
- – Jewelry
- – SIlver
- – China
- – Appliances
- – Sports equipment
- – Clothing (you need not list every piece of clothing unless they are of particular value)
2. Go Through One Room at a Time
Attempting to inventory your entire home all at once can be intimidating. Start small with a single room and move from there.
3. Take Inventory as You Move
One of the best times to do a home inventory is when you sell your house and move. This is typically an opportunity to sell or donate unwanted items, so your list of personal belongings will likely change. Keep a detailed list as you pack, taking pictures of items and adding them to an app or digital file.
4. Record New Purchases
Making a home inventory list for insurance is much easier if you add new purchases as you make them. Include everything from the purchase price to any warranties, too.
5. Update the Inventory Frequently
Update your inventory when:
- – You redecorate and sell or give away furniture
- – Your children grow out of clothes
- – You get married and combine households
- – You inherit valuable items
- – You sell your home
6. Don’t Put It Off
A home loss due to fire, weather, or theft is unpredictable. You may be tempted to put off making a home inventory list for insurance — until it’s too late. Just as you would calculate other important home-related expenses, consider how much a disaster could cost your family if you are not prepared.
Protect yourself from loss and give yourself and your family peace of mind by making this critical task a priority.
Time on your hands? Why Not Do a Home Inventory?
Ep 003 – What is a Home Inventory and Why You Need One?
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