A home inventory is a comprehensive list of everything in your home. It ideally includes information on each item’s value, brand, and model. The time you put into making a home inventory can save you lots of time and stress if a disaster occurs.
- Get the Right Type of Insurance
With a home inventory, you get a full picture of the value of your items and what it would take to replace them. This allows you to determine how much insurance coverage you need. Those without home inventories are likely to undervalue their possessions, which can lead to difficulties down the road if they try to make a claim on their homeowner’s policy. Utilize your home inventory to get the insurance that meets your needs, and rest easy knowing that you’re ready if there’s a break-in or fire.
- Streamline the Process of Making an Insurance Claim
In a perfect world, you’d never have to make an insurance claim. However, when tragedy strikes, you want to know that you can get compensated. If a break-in or natural disaster occurs, you may immediately notice some items missing—but you may not notice smaller items missing for months, making it difficult or impossible to make an insurance claim. Even if you do know which items have been stolen or destroyed, you may not get the proper compensation if you don’t have specific information about each item’s model number and value. The more documentation you have, the harder it is for your home insurance company to undercut you.
- Apply for Recovery and Assistance After a Disaster
Some types of natural disasters qualify you for state or federal assistance and tax breaks. To take advantage of these resources, you may have to provide proof of your financial losses. The sooner you get the assistance you deserve after a disaster, the sooner you can begin rebuilding your life.
Tips for Making a Home Inventory
Ready to get started? Keep these tips in mind as you start your inventory.
- Do one room at a time, and break each room into specific areas. If a disaster occurs, you want to be able to quickly move through your list and figure out which items are missing. In addition to breaking your list down into separate rooms, have lists for each section of the room—for example, in the kitchen, you might have separate sections for upper cabinets, lower cabinets, small countertop appliances, and large appliances.
- Record serial numbers. Write down the serial numbers of big ticket items. This makes it easier for police to track items if they turn up at local pawn shops.
- Categorize clothing. Unless a specific piece of clothing is worth a substantial amount of money, you don’t need to list each item individually. List how many pairs of jeans, t-shirts, and other types of clothing you have.
- Photograph high value items. Photographic documentation makes it harder for your insurance company to dispute your claim. Keep photographs with your full home inventory.
- Save receipts, if possible. When you purchase expensive items, save receipts. If you have a digital home inventory, scan copies to keep with your list.
- Use a mobile app. If you don’t want to create a home inventory from scratch, let a mobile app help. These often have preset categories and rooms, saving time and streamlining the process.
- Keep multiple copies. Keep copies of your home inventory in multiple locations. Try to maintain a digital copy on a hard drive, a digital copy in the cloud, and a physical copy.
Need help recovering after a break-in, fire, or flood? Don’t take on your insurance company alone. Call The Monfiston Firm, P.A. at 888-988-FIRM to discuss your case.