Most of us can recount what belongings are in our homes. But we’re not necessarily able to recall how much they cost, are valued at, or exactly how many of various things we have.
If you experience a large or total loss in your home, would you be able to accurately describe each of the items that were damaged or destroyed so you could be indemnified? If your answer is “No,” don’t feel bad! Most of us can’t, and that’s why having a Home Inventory is important.
Creating a Home Inventory might sound like a big task, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out the tips below for how you can develop your Inventory easily and effectively:
Go Room by Room
You’ve decided you’re going to make your list. But where do you begin? Don’t get overwhelmed by thinking you have to scour your entire home all at once to make sure everything is accounted for. Start your list by going one room at a time. Doing this not only makes the task less daunting but could also help account for things you might not have thought about (e.g., the blender on your kitchen counter) when looking at your home as a whole and trying to make sure you have all the “big things” recorded (like that 60” TV in your living room.)
Don’t forget about your garage and attic! If you have belongings stored in either of these rooms, then be sure you include the items within them in your Inventory.
The Types of Lists You Can Make
A written or typed list is always valuable when presenting the belongings that were damaged or destroyed as part of your claim, but not everyone likes the idea of creating a list and then having to keep it someplace that isn’t right at their fingertips. If you’re one of those people, consider building your Inventory in one of the Inventory Apps that you can easily download right to your phone.
Want to kick your Inventory up a notch further? Consider taking video of each room of your home and the belongings in it to supplement the written list. Not comfortable with sharing video of your home? We get it! Photographs are effective too.
If you happen to be a person that saves receipts for the “big ticket items” you purchase, go ahead, and include those! That way, you don’t have to recall what something costs. Its already written out for you.
Whether you decide to create a written or visual Inventory, be as detailed as possible. If your list is written, feel free to go heavy on the descriptions of your belongings. If you opt for a visual list using video or photos, don’t hesitate to get up close to certain items rather than just capture them from a distance. If you have more than one of something (e.g., four pairs of Converse sneakers) make sure to include the quantity of those items.
Don’t Underestimate the Small Stuff
Many people start their Inventory by immediately putting the focus on their most valuable possessions. But don’t forget about the smaller, less costly items you own! For example, just because the clothing in your home that’s been damaged or destroyed isn’t designer doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable and reimbursable.
Having a Home Inventory List can most certainly take some of the stress out of being returned to a pre-loss state by your insurance carrier. But it is secondary to making sure you have the right coverage in place. If your current homeowners’ policy hasn’t been reviewed recently, feel free to reach out to our team at J. Hoffman Insurance to have it evaluated. We’re here to help, and always happy to do so.