The new year is a great time to take stock of your household belongings and update your home inventory. If you experience a fire, theft, or other significant loss, the insurance company will ask for a list of your belongings. This can be hard to remember, particularly during a stressful time.
A full home inventory makes your claims process easier if you have a loss.
Here are some different methods you might use:
Video Records Use the video feature on your smartphone to walk through your home room-by-room and pan over your belongings. Include an audio commentary noting any significant items, and capturing any info about quantity, age, or price that seems relevant. Open cabinets, drawers, and closets to record those contents, and remember to review your basement and garage storage, too.
Make each room or level of your home a separate video to keep file sizes manageable. Label or tag your video files and back them up to the cloud. Or store your videos on a jump drive you’ll keep offsite.
Mobile Apps You can find several home inventory apps online, including Know Your Stuff created by the Insurance Information Institute. These apps help your track more detailed information, including model and serial numbers, photos, and scans of your receipts and appraisals. Some apps include reporting features that allow you to export your data to PDF or Excel- ideal if you ever have to report a loss.
Mobile apps provide a handy way to update your home inventory on an ongoing basis, as you buy new goods throughout the year. Whenever you make a notable purchase, snap a picture of the item and the receipt right away.
Manual Records If you’re not a smartphone user, or you just prefer the tangible nature of paper records, you might like the home inventory checklist from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This printable form helps walk you through the main rooms of your house and includes reminders for miscellaneous items you’ll want to record.
Whichever method you choose, remember to make copies and store them offside, in the cloud, in a safe- deposit box, or with a trusted friend. You don’t want your only records kept on a computer or phone that could be stolen or lost. An up-to-date home inventory makes the claims process faster and can provide the verification your insurance company may require for certain high-value items.
Contact our agency for more details.
Written by: Secura Insurance Company December 29, 2016