Home insurance is vital for protecting your belongings against the unforeseen. To ensure you are all the possessions in your home are covered, you will need to maintain an updated home inventory list. The home inventory list will not only allow your insurance company to charge you at the appropriate rate, it will also ease the process of any claims you submit. Below is our guideline on how to conduct a home inventory check for home insurance.
I. SAVING THE INFORMATION
Before you begin, have a plan for how and where you are going to save your home inventory list. Here are guidelines:
A. Use An App or Software Program
Given today’s technology, it’s no surprise that home insurance inventory can be done via an app or software program. Search online for “home insurance inventory apps” and see which ones suit your smartphone, or tablet. By having your list ‘on hand’ you can easily update your list and save it to the “cloud”.
Not into apps? You can use an organizer such as EverNote, OneNote, or Google Docs to track your home inventory and keep it saved online via your PC, laptop, or mobile device. You can also take advantage of free home inventory software at www.KNOWYOURSTUFF.org
B. Save It in Three Places. In addition to saving a copy of your list at home, make sure you save the list in two places accessible from outside your home. After all, we’re talking about home insurance here, and the fact is that your list (printed, or saved on your hard drive) could get water damaged, burned in a fire, or blown away in a hurricane, right?
- Save your list onto a web-based email, such as Google’s Gmail – just email it to yourself, or save it as a Google document on Google Drive. This way, it will be accessible from the Internet “cloud” and can be updated regularly online.
- Make sure a printed back-up copy of your list is saved with a family member or close friend in a safe place.
- Save your videos and photographs in more than one place as well – more on that below.
II. MAKING THE LIST, RECORDING IT TWICE
The rule of thumb is: Don’t hold back. You think only a Picasso, an 1882-released gold pocket watch, and a 450-year-old, hand-carved Japanese armoire wardrobe are worth mentioning? Think again. Everything should go into your inventory, just systematically, and recorded not only in writing but via video and photographing as well.
A. Start Big. List the big-ticket items first. These typically include: jewelry, antiques, furs, high-end art, hand-woven carpets, or a piano.
B. Go Room to Room, to Front Lawn and Back Lawn. After you’ve listed your most expensive items, move on to computers, appliances, china, large furniture, and the lawn mower. Then finalize with all other items, such as clothing, pots and pans, even bathroom items. Again, nothing is too small – if you lose anything or everything, you might as well have it covered.
C. Record it, and record it well. In addition to writing down your inventory list, take photos and even videos, especially of the big ticket items as evidence. Once you’ve done a survey inside and out, go through a second-time around with the camera and shoot away.
While we hope that you will never have to submit a home insurance claim, if you do, we wish you the most seamless claims process possible. Using the above guidelines for recording your home inventory will make the process easier.