Half of all homeowners in the United States create a home inventory, according to the Insurance Information Institute. With property damage and theft accounting for more than 97 percent of insurance claims in 2016 alone, having a clear (and easily accessible) list of insured items can make a major impact, saving you time, money, and frustration. If you don't have a current household possession inventory, use these steps to create one.
Pick and Choose
Recording each and every item in your home isn't always necessary. Some less valuable or low-priced possessions might not fit into a replaceable category. Before beginning the inventory listing process, assess your possessions and decide what items you would want to need to replace in the event of damage or burglary.
Select an Organization Pattern
People use several different organizational approaches to take when creating a home inventory for insurance purposes. These include organizing the list by:
Room. This is an easy way to group similar items and reduce the likelihood of missing or skipping a possession.
Type. Some homeowners may prefer to group all similar items together. This requires going from room to room, locating specific types (such as jewelry or electronics).
Value. Instead of putting items into a specific category type, you can also organize them by their value on a scale of low to high.
New purchases. If your previous inventory needs to be updated, add new purchases to a separate category.
If you don't want to use these organizational strategies, you can create your own easy-to-use version. Think about what types of categories make sense to you, then create a list based on your preferred mode of organization.
Use Technology Wisely
Technology, as part of an insurance-related inventory, is your friend. A spreadsheet allows you to organize your inventory in multiple ways, eventually allowing you to search for individual items by name or another type of defining trait.
You can also store your spreadsheet on multiple devices, giving you the opportunity to access the list with ease whenever you need it. Unlike a paper list, backing up a spreadsheet on your smartphone or tablet (and storing it on a cloud service) protects the inventory in the event of a fire or other type of home damage.
Some homeowners also find using organizational or listing apps an advantage when it comes to creating an inventory. Android and iOS apps such as Sortly, Nest Egg, MyStuff, Magic Home Inventory, and Inventory List can make the inventory process easier. Similar to maintaining a remote backup of a spreadsheet, these apps also make it possible to access your inventory from almost anywhere and keep your list safe from physical damage.
Listing each item can get confusing. If you have three different diamond bracelets and one gets stolen, will your list entry provide you with the correct information? Take a photo of each item to add to your inventory. Label the photo, including details such as the date of purchase, estimated value, or model numbers.
As you photograph your listed belongings, create entire room views. This allows you to quickly access an entire stock of items in the event that one room sustains damage.
Record Serial Numbers
Serial numbers can help you to easily identify the specific item. These numbers are also important for the insurer to help estimate the replacement cost. Not every home item has one of these numbers. However, many more expensive purchases (such as appliances or electronic devices) have serial numbers. Make sure to include this information in your inventory.
Inventory Stored Items
If you have a secondary site for securely storing extra or valuable items, include these on the property list. Create an entirely separate inventory that only includes items locked in a storage facility or add them into specific categories of an existing list.
Does your homeowners insurance cover all of your valuables? Contact Advanced-Insurance.Net for all of your insurance needs.