From couches to jewelry, your home is full of a lifetime of objects, and each one holds value and memories. If a disaster were to happen, could you remember what's in your home so that you could be reimbursed for the loss and start to replace these important items? Keeping a home inventory allows you to rely on photos and documents instead of relying on memory.
What is a Home Inventory?
A home inventory is a way of recording the insurable assets within your home. This kind of inventory not only helps you in case of a loss, but it also allows you to keep a running inventory of what's insured within your home, helping you and your insurance company determine what sort of coverage you require. A home inventory can be as simple as a list of items, but it can also include other information about those items and can include visuals as well.
How to Create a Home Inventory
A home inventory seems like a daunting task, but it doesn't need to be such a difficult challenge. You don't need to inventory many of the items in your home, although you might replace them in time. Focus on the items that you would need to replace or that have a high value.
You can categorize your items in different ways. You might choose to go from room to room, making notes about each item and taking a photo or video of each one. You could also start with a specific category of item, such as furniture.
Adding a photo or video is an important element of a home inventory. It's hard to remember all of the details of an object, and it's much easier for an insurance company to look at a photo than it is for you to try and describe your memory of that object. Make sure that your photo is of that specific object without people in the photo, and add it to your ongoing list.
Taking photos without people in them makes it easier to see the items on your list.
What to Add to Your Home Inventory
What specific items should be a part of your home inventory? You need to remember the basics, such as appliances and furniture. Remember to add items such as rugs and shelving. These items might seem almost invisible in your current home, but you'd need to purchase them again if they weren't there. You may have collections or heirlooms that are particularly valuable items in these rooms. Make sure that you add these to your list as well.
Next, go through your clothing and jewelry, focusing on valuable pieces. Then focus on items that you use for entertainment. This might be electronics such as a sound system or an IPhone, or it could be objects related to hobbies, such as musical instruments or sports equipment.
Finally, do you have any miscellaneous or special interest items, such as medical equipment? Do a last walk around your house to see if there's anything you've missed. Remember to look in your storage areas, attic, and shed as well.
Where to Store Your Home Inventory
You can also use online databases or tools to help you develop your home inventory. From a simple Excel spreadsheet with data to a more complex photo index, you should store this information online. This will allow you to access your information anywhere and anytime, even if you cannot enter your home safely. If you don't want to store your information online, store a hard copy in your safety deposit box or at a friend or family member's home and update it regularly.
Scheduled Personal Property and Personal Property Sub-limits
When inventorying homes, it is important to remember that some types of property, like jewelry, may have their own individual sub-limits, so you should always check with your agent about the types of sub-limits available for specific items. You may also want to consider "scheduling" individual personal property items for a specific limit, which typically requires a receipt or appraisal as proof of that specific limit.
When you're looking for house insurance, contact Southern Oak. We'll help you prepare so that you know that your home is protected. Get an instant quote here. You can also download a free Home Inventory Checklist below!