Whether you are a homeowner or renter, keeping an inventory of all your belongings is essential. It can make a big difference in the coverage you receive if your property is damaged or stolen.
Creating an inventory can be daunting, but a few easy steps can help you start. Besides, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your possessions are covered if they ever go missing!
Identify High-Value Belongings
Although not all our possessions are equal, some hold a premium price tag. For example, smart TVs, tablets, and smartphones can be worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars. It’s a good idea to note which belongings are most valuable and then insure them accordingly. The best way to do this is by assembling an inventory of the most expensive items in your home. If you’re looking to guarantee the best of your belongings, the insurance industry offers a variety of high-value coverage options for homeowners, condo owners, and renters alike. A few of these insurance solutions are designed to cover you if your home is hit by fire, theft, or even vandalism. The most important part of this process is understanding your insurance policy and what is and isn’t covered.
Update Your Inventory Regularly
Keeping an inventory of your personal property coverage can help you get compensation for your losses in the event of a disaster or theft. In addition, it enables you to make sure that your policy covers everything in your home.
Whether you create your inventory on paper or through an app, it’s essential to update it regularly. This includes noting any new purchases and discarding items you no longer have.
Some smartphone apps, such as Home Inventory and Encircle, allow you to keep track of your belongings using pictures and video. You can also take a physical inventory and write down each item’s brand, model, style name, age, quantity, and purchase price.
It’s a good idea to include details on high-value items such as jewelry, art, and collectibles, which can increase in value over time. You should also save noteworthy sales receipts or contracts and an appraisal report.
Creating and updating your inventory is a simple, straightforward process. You can do it annually, once a month, or whenever you make a significant purchase. Keep a copy of the list outside your home, such as with a friend or family member, or in an online storage system.
Keep It in a Safe Place
Inventory is essential for any business, but if it’s stolen, broken, or lost, the impact on your bottom line can be severe. It can also be a costly and stressful time to find replacements.
Whether you’re selling dry goods or power equipment, keeping your inventory safe is critical to protecting it from damage that could make it unsellable. This could lead to a loss of revenue that you cannot afford to recover.
The first step is to keep an accurate list of your belongings, including the model numbers, serial numbers, and other identifying details of each item. Attach receipts and valuation documents whenever possible to support the value of things.
Next, consider taking photos or videos of your possessions to document their location and identify their contents. Digital home inventory programs allow you to take multiple pictures of each item, which can help you quickly determine what you have and where it is if you need to make a claim.
You should also keep a copy of your paper inventory outside your home and your receipts and appraisals in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box. You should also create a backup copy of your digital files, such as those of photos and videos, in an easily accessible cloud storage environment.
Keep It Up-to-Date
A home inventory is a valuable tool to help you navigate the insurance claims process in case of a fire, theft, or another property damage incident. You should make a copy and keep it in a safe location outside of your home, such as a safety deposit box or digitally stored in the cloud.
A good inventory list should include all your belongings, including art, jewelry, electronics, firearms, sports equipment, and heirloom pieces like grandfather clocks and china. It should also have several details, such as manufacturer, model, purchase date, and serial number. It should also include receipts or appraisals of significant items, photographs, and videos if you have them.
One of the most critical steps in preparing an accurate inventory is comparing the item’s estimated value against your homeowner’s insurance coverage limit. The simplest way to do this is to flip through your declarations page, which lists the various types of coverage you have under your policy. Check the coverage limits and see if they can replace your property in the event of a loss.
Creating a comprehensive personal property inventory is a great way to take stock of your possessions and learn which coverage types you need and the best bets for you and your family. An American Family agent can walk you through the process to ensure your policy has enough protection for your unique needs.