How To Create A Home Inventory
Whether you own a home or condo, or you rent an apartment, it’s likely that you have a lot of belongings. These belongings range from clothing, appliances, electronics, kitchen utensils, cleaning products, picture frames and even high-end valuable items such as wine bottles, jewelry, and artwork. Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster if you want to file one, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance. Let’s take a closer look at the process of how to create a home inventory.
Start Your Home Inventory Today…
Believe it or not, starting up a home inventory is relatively simple. Follow our simple step-by-step process that will help keep you on track when creating your inventory.
Step 1: Find an area of your home to start.
It can definitely be overwhelming when it comes to figuring out where and how to start the process of your home inventory. Especially in larger areas where you have more stuff. Instead, choose a smaller, confined space such as a closet or a kitchen appliance cabinet.
Step 2: What are your most recent purchases?
If you find it difficult to choose an area of your home to start, switch tactics and look to your most recent purchase history instead.
Step 3. Basic details.
When looking at your items, include a brief description of each item you record, and note where you bought it, the make and model, what you paid and any other detail that might help in the event you need to make a claim.
Step 4: Take photos and videos.
Whenever possible, use your phone or digital camera to capture pictures and videos of each item for easy reference.
Step 5: Record serial numbers.
Additional details like serial numbers and product numbers are beneficial as a reference point when it comes to filing a claim. Serial numbers are usually found on the back or bottom of major appliances and electronic equipment.
Step 6: Categorize all your belongings.
When recording each of your belongings, use categories to condense and make things simpler. Instead of listing each pair of shoes and clothing that you own, for example, simply add “7 pairs of sandals.” “5 pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of sneakers…etc” Make note of any items that are especially valuable.
Step 7: What is the coverage on your big ticket items?
Items such as jewelry, art and collectibles may have increased in value and may need special coverage that is separate from your standard homeowners insurance policy.
Step 8: Do you have any off-site items?
Your belongings that are kept in self-storage facilities are also covered by your homeowners insurance. Be sure to include them in your inventory!
Step 9: Keep proof of value.
Your insurance company may request proof of purchase with your claim, so be sure to keep and file sales receipts, purchase orders, sales contracts and appraisals.
Step 10: Don’t stress!
As you add more purchases and belongings to your collection or swap out old items for new models, be sure to always update your inventory to keep it current. Once you’ve started your inventory, keep going even if you can’t get it all done immediately in one sitting. Remember, it’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all.
Don’t forget to add these items to your home inventory:
This includes not only your TV but other entertainment accessories, too. Add any sound systems, speakers and gaming systems to your list. Also, be sure to include smaller electronic items as well, such as portable music players, cameras and earbuds.
- Items in storage
Do not forget to account for any items that are in off-site storage.
Your rugs, curtains and blinds are all items you should include in your home inventory. Not only do they make your home beautiful, but they can be pretty expensive to replace, too.
Today’s cell phones can cost several hundred to even thousand of dollars to replace. Be sure to add any cell phones or house phones to your home inventory.
- Music instruments
A piano may stand out as an obvious item for your inventory, but other instruments, such as a trumpet, a flute or violin, should be included, too.
Appliances can be some of the most expensive items in the home. Items such as your stove, fridge, microwave and dishwasher are all critical to add to your inventory so be sure to include these items.
Keep your home inventory up-to-date and safely stored
Your home inventory is only useful if it’s accurate enough and you can access it to provide information to your insurance company in case of fire, theft or other destructive disaster. Regardless of what you’ve used to create your list, keep it backed up and in a safe place always. And of course, we’re here to help you with the process! Reach out to Dexter & Co. today with any questions or concerns you may have when creating your home inventory checklist. And, take a look at our published blog post to learn more about what types of household items can be insured.