Create a Home Inventory for Insurance
Create a Home Inventory for Insurance
Help expedite the insurance claims process after damage, loss, or theft by being prepared for any of life’s surprises with a home inventory. A home inventory is a record of everything you own detailing value, records where and when you bought it, and documents other important info such as model and serial numbers.
Although it may seem like a daunting task to go through everything you own to create the inventory, having it will be one of the most important things you can do for yourself if the unspeakable happens.
Disaster Occurs When You Least Expect
Disaster can strike in an instant and without warning. You never know when you are going to need the complete inventory of your belongings to share with your insurance carrier or agent in order to file a claim. A fire could break out. You could get burglarized. Or a natural disaster could happen.
Your home inventory record of insurable assets will provide the basis for settlement of covered loss or claim with your insurance provider. It can also help assess tax-deductible property losses and help your advisor determine the amount of coverage you need or if you need to purchase additional policy coverage for items not included in your standard homeowners or renters policy.
Where to Start
First, decide how you want to inventory your belongings. You can choose a:
- Written Inventory
- Digital Inventory
- Visual Record
A written inventory catalogs your belongings using a spreadsheet or other document of your choice noting description, value, and purchase date.
A digital inventory uses apps on your mobile devices to record item descriptions, value, and date of purchase, as well as take photos of the items.
A visual inventory shows proof of ownership and typically is performed using video and recording yourself describing your belongings as you walk through each room, the closets, and drawers of item location.
You can also choose to do a combination of any of these.
Next, it's time to start recording eveyrthing for your home inventory.
- Record everything you own as you move into your new place OR start with one area at a time if you have already moved in.
- Start with one area at a time. Capture and record everything in each area before moving onto the next.
- Record each item when you redecorate or purchase new items. Get into the habit of doing this whenever something new is added to your home, and keep a record of the receipts as this will be helpful when you need to provide the value of the items.
- Record important information of items including description, where you bought it, the make and model, and what you paid for the item. Include serial numbers or other identifiers when possible.
- Record the number of clothing types such as number of shoes, pants, shirts, jeans, etc. and if you own notably higher value items, make sure to record it.
- Record items stored too. Don’t forget anything that you may have stored in the attic, in a crawlspace, garage, or basement. If you have items in storage at a unit, document those as well, so you have all of your personal belongings covered under your policy.
- Going digital? Take pictures, videos, or use an app. Capture important items as well as photos of the entire area of the room where they are, including closets and drawers. Label the photos with what is in the photo, where you bought it, and the make or model/serial number if they have one. Walk through your home our apartment videoing everything, and record yourself describing the contents. Get as descriptive as possible for each item, and detail the value. Again, retain receipts for as much as you can, and always for new purchases. Store the videos and receipts or photos of receipts in a safe area as mentioned.
- Use an app. There are many apps available to help create a room-by-room inventory of your belongings.
- If you donate or remove items from your ownership, make sure to update your inventory record to ensure it is always current.
Storing Your Home Inventory
You don’t want to lose your home inventory records in the disaster, so you want to make sure records are kept in a fireproof safe, stored in a deposit box, or uploaded digitally to the cloud. You can email the information to yourself or better yet, email to your insurance advisor.
The benefit of sending the information to your insurance advisor allows them to review the info and see if you need extra home or renters insurance coverage or if you need to add a Personal Articles Insurance Policy.
Also, if you make updates to your home inventory and shared the copy with your advisor, be sure to send them the latest version too.
Don’t Go Unprepared
You don’t want to find yourself in a situation of needing a record of all of your belongings, value, and purchase history, and not having it ready. Damage and loss from fire, natural disaster, or burglary is stressful enough. Don’t go unprepared without a comprehensive home inventory.
If you have questions about what is covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy, reach out to the Covered team and we can help! Simply call 833-487-2683 or contact us. We are always available to assist with all of your insurance needs.
We've got you Covered.