When you purchase and furnish your home, you probably don’t think about what might happen to those items if disaster strikes. Like almost any homeowner, you pay your insurance premiums and just assume that in the event of theft, fire or other loss, you will be reimbursed the expense of those possessions.
In reality, many homeowners are surprised and saddened when disaster does strike, and their insurance requests documentation of every item in their home. They find themselves trying to make a list of what was lost while attempting to remember how much it cost and where they purchased it. Inevitably, items are forgotten or insurance denies certain claims due to lack of documentation.
Every homeowner can avoid this by keeping a home inventory list. Home inventory lists help owners easily find and document their items to insurance companies in the event of the need to make a claim.
Creating and Inventory List
If the idea of creating a list of everything you own is daunting, the process is really straightforward. Read on to find out how you can easily make your own home inventory list:
- It’s easiest to start when you first purchase your home. If this isn’t possible, pick a room that has the most valuable possessions and start there, working your way to the least valuable rooms. Don’t forget storage and closets.
- Include basic information about every item. This includes where and when you purchased it, a make or model number, and the amount you paid.
- Sets purchased together do not need to be listed separately. For example, instead of listing “Bed (price) Dresser (price)”, you can simply write “Bedroom set: Bed, Dresser, Mirror (price)”
- Clothing can be counted as a group. An example of this would be : “Jackets (brand and Price) 3”, and so on. Keep in mind this only applies to items of the same brand or approximate value.
- When you make new purchases, try to scan the receipts as you enter the item to your inventory. If you don’t want to print a paper copy of your home inventory list, you can make the document shareable with a trusted friend, attorney or family member so that you may be able to retrieve it in the event that your computer is stolen or damaged.
- When you’re done, make a cover sheet that lists the rooms and their page number for easy reference.
If you would like an example of a home inventory sheet, you can see one here.
As a special note, most homeowners insurance has a limit on the amount of money that will be reimbursed. If you own expensive items such as jewelry, furs, designer purses, heirlooms, art or other luxury items, be sure to discuss the possibility of an additional rider to your policy to help insure these items.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of creating your home inventory list. With a little time, you’ll have the extra reassurance you need to feel secure that your insurance coverage is adequate and your possessions are counted.