HOME INVENTORY ADVICE
You never know when a disaster may strike—but you can be prepared with a home inventory. ONLY CONTENTS (www.onlycontents.com) offers the following advise to help you prepare a home inventory.
Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you:
Purchase enough insurance to replace the things you own.
Get your insurance claims settled faster.
Substantiate losses for your income tax return.
There are many ways to create a home inventory. It may seem hard at first to record information about everything you have in your house, but don’t let that put you off. First, decide on a way to make an inventory that works for you. You can do it room by room, category by category (furniture, electronics, etc.), from newest items to oldest or from most expensive purchases to less expensive ones.
There are different ways to making your list. You can write everything down in a notebook, for example. Or you can take pictures, writing information on the back of the photos or put information on your computer. If you have a video camera, you can walk through your house filming and describing the contents at the same time. Keep receipts when they are available and note the cost for the item, when you bought it and other information about the make and model.
Expensive items like jewelry and art work may need to be insured separately. Ask your insurance agent whether you need a floater for your homeowners’ policy.
Store a copy of your inventory in a safe place outside of you home—with a friend or in a safe deposit box. (If your inventory is electronic, store it on a thumb drive.) That way you’ll be sure to have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. Also, whenever you make a significant purchase, remember to add the information to your inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.
BIG TICKET ITEMS
Make note of expensive items, such as jewelry, furs, and collectibles. Valuable items may need separate insurance. But, don’t forget more commonplace items such as toys, CD’s and clothing.
Along with the written information, consider adding photographs of your possessions, which can be done easily with a digital camera. You can always simply store your print photographs with a copy of your inventory.
Walk through your house or apartment videotaping the contents. Remember to open drawers and closets. One advantage of videotape is that you can narrate what you are filming.
In some case, items below are listed by the room in which they are most likely to be found. In other cases, they are grouped together by category. For many items like books, CDs, sheets or pots and pans, you can make a general estimate of how many you have and their estimated value.
You can refer to the following lists to help create your inventories. Write a brief description of the item including when and where it was purchased and its make or model number.
Collections (coin, stamp, etc.)
Entertainment center/wall units
Piano/other musical instruments
Coffee makers/other small appliances
Hair dryer/other electrical appliances