I have plenty of coverage for my personal property. Is a home inventory really necessary?
You may think you know exactly what you have in your home, but in times of stress, such as after a fire or some other catastrophic event, your memory may be clouded due to anxiety and fear and it will be difficult to think. There may also be items that are stored away in cabinets or drawers that are valuable, but are often forgotten because they are “out of sight – out of mind”. Insurance companies recommend that everyone conduct a home inventory and update it annually to be sure that the information is always current.
A personal property home inventory helps to insure that you have the coverage you need. In the event of a loss, the claim process will go much more smoothly if you have this documentation and the claim will probably be settled much faster. A written list of your personal property items should include the date of purchase, original cost and notes of any improvements you have made. For TV’s, computers and electronics, you should record the serial numbers and keep all receipts for these items attached to the list. If you have a video camera or smart phone, use it to make scans of all rooms, the outside of your home, your attic, basement and garage. Take close-up video of all valuable objects such as jewelry, artwork and antiques. You can also use the zoom feature to capture the serial numbers on your TV’s and electronics. Remember to add audio commentary of any details that may not be visually apparent.
Once you have completed your inventory, it should be stored in a safe place. You can print the list or store it with a cloud-based storage company and store it outside the home in a safe deposit box or maybe with a trusted family member or friend. You can also save it electronically to the hard drive on your computer and email it to a friend or family member for safe keeping.
Protect yourself and your belongings. Taking the time to conduct a home inventory now could save you precious time and frustration later on.