We hope that you’ll never lose any of your valued possessions to fire, theft, storm damage or some other catastrophe. But under the heading of “expect the best and prepare for the worst,” you should take the time to create a home inventory just in case. A thorough and well-documented inventory will save you quite a bit of time and heartache in the event of a loss.
Creating a home inventory takes some time, yes, but it’s never been easier than in the age of the smartphone. You always have a camera with you, and there are quite a few apps that will walk you through the process.
Here are some tips for creating a home inventory:
- Begin with a walkthrough of the entire home and make a list of everything you want to document, to include any appliances, electronics, furniture, jewelry, china, silverware and anything else of value.
- Next, get photos of each room showing large items (appliances, furniture, TVs, desktop PCs) in place. Follow this up with a specific photo of each item.
- For smaller items like jewelry and collectibles, it’s a good idea to take photos that will show their scale. Photograph rings in place on your hand or put other small items next to a dollar bill.
- Higher-end jewelry and collectibles in your inventory should include a current appraisal.
- For each item in your inventory, add as much relevant information as possible: model number, serial number, date of purchase, cost and so forth. For electronics you may be able to just take a close-up photo of the area showing model and serial number.
- Match this information up with any receipts you have for each item and store it all together.
- Keep any paper copies of inventory, receipts, etc. in a fireproof box. Store electronic copies of everything offsite (Dropbox or Google Drive are ideal).
- Finally, get into the habit of adding new purchases to your inventory by following the same procedure: photo, receipt, etc.
Creating your initial inventory will be time-consuming, but once you have a system in place, adding new purchases will take just a few minutes. And if you ever do have a major loss, you’ll be very glad you invested that time.
Questions about creating an inventory or making sure your coverage is adequate to replace everything? Contact Consolidated Insurance.