When you are taking out a homeowner’s insurance policy you need to have an inventory of everything that is in your home. If an accident should happen and the home gets destroyed, either fully or partially, you need to know exactly what you had in the home in order to get the full value of what you lost. It is hard to remember everything that you have accumulated over the years, especially when you will probably be in shock after losing everything you have. Having a home inventory helps the insurance company verify your claim and get everything settled much faster so that you can go on with your life.
It may seem like a daunting task, trying to take stock of everything you have in your home. You have to start with a plan of how you will record all these items, either on paper or on an audio cassette or CD. You should have pictures of all the items as well because this will really expedite your dealings with the insurance company.
Take one room in the house at a time. Itemize everything in each room, listing the make, model and color (everything possible about the item) and if possible included the sales receipt, contracts or any appraisals you may have related to each item. For clothing and bedding, you should count the items, making notes about anything of value, if necessary. You should take an inventory of jewellery in the same way, methodically recording each piece and estimating the value, if you do not have the receipts. An inventory of appliances should include the serial numbers of each one as well.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the daunting task ahead of you. If you are just moving into a new home, the task is a lot easier. You can inventory each item as you unpack it. If you have been living in the home for quite some time, the task may take a bit more time. It is better to do the inventory while you are in each room, rather than sitting down and trying to visualize what is there. This will result in items being missed and you may possible miss things that have cost a lot of money.
Take photos of each room or videotape the room as you walk through your home. You can record the inventory on your computer backing it up with a disc or CD. You should probably store the record in a location other than somewhere in the home, because if the home is destroyed by fire, the inventory will also be destroyed.
As you buy more furniture or appliances and get rid of others, you should update your home inventory. Once you get into the habit of recording new items that you buy, and save the sales receipts, it will become a regular part of your financial records as the record of your bills and payments. A small effort can pay off if anything devastating should happen that requires you to file a claim on your home insurance.
You don’t have to have an elaborate method of recording everything you have. Once you get used to doing it, everyone in the family will also follow suit. When everyone chips in, the task is much easier. The important thing to remember that you really do need to have an inventory and even if you forget something, it is better to have a partial inventory than not have one at all. It will make the insurance adjuster’s task much easier and will also give you peace of mind that if something happens, you will not have to wait very long to get things settled.
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