Whether you are renting your home or buying it, having home insurance to protect your possessions is essential. You never know when disaster will strike, and knowing that you have homeowners or renters insurance will help you sleep peacefully at night.
Having that insurance protection in place is one thing, but there is one more vital step you may be neglecting. If you do not have a detailed inventory of the items inside the four walls of your house or apartment, you will be left scrambling if you ever need to file a claim. With that in mind, here is a step-by-step guide for creating and safeguarding a detailed list of your possessions.
- Make a list of the rooms in your home and set a goal for inventorying them. A good rule of thumb is to tackle one room each week.
- Record the serial numbers of all electronics, including the televisions, computers, and tablets in your home. Be sure to provide a basic description of each item as well, including its original cost, place of purchase, and other pertinent details.
- Record each item one room at a time, including a basic description, actual or estimated price, and when it was acquired. If you have receipts, include them with your paper inventory or scan them to your digital one.
- Once the actual rooms in your home have been indexed and recorded, start tackling your stored items. That means going through the closets, sheds, and other storage spaces in and around your home.
- If you have compiled your household inventory on paper, digitize it by scanning the pages, receipts, and other items. Having a digital inventory will make it easier to maintain, update and access your list of possessions.
- Complement your written and digitized household inventory with a video walkthrough. Use your smartphone or pull out that old camcorder and put it to work.
- Keep a running narration going as you conduct your video walkthrough of each room, detailing things like dates of purchase, prices, and even serial numbers of appliances and electronics.
- Store your digital household inventory and video walkthrough in a safe place, ideally a cloud account that can be accessed from anywhere. This will make it easier to file a claim if you are unable to return to your home following a flood or other natural disaster.
- Update your inventory as you acquire new possessions, especially ones that cost a lot of money. Be sure to scan receipts as you buy new products, storing those documents, along with detailed photographs, in the same cloud account.
Having a detailed household inventory will make your life easier in many ways, giving you the tools you need to file a claim and get paid quickly. Since you have already invested in your assets and your home insurance policy anything you can do to speed up the claims process is important, so why not get started on that household inventory today?