Do You Have an Inventory of All Your Belongings?
As a homeowner or renter, you should have an accurate, up-to-date inventory of all the personal property at your residence and off-site storage facilities. There are several reasons to create a thorough list and plenty of ways to approach the project.
CoreLogic’s Residential Cost Handbook says that 64% of homeowners are underinsured—by a whopping 27%! There are several possible reasons why someone might be underinsured. A big one is undervaluing your personal property. Often, it is the everyday items like dishes and linens that people forget about when purchasing their insurance.
And over time, what you own changes. For example, the cost of construction materials has gone up dramatically in the last couple of years. Have you raised your limits to match that inflation? It would be best to reassess how much it would cost you to replace your property. Otherwise, you might come up short if you have to file a claim.
When you create and maintain a home inventory, you will know how much insurance to buy. That way, when you need to file a claim, you won’t come up short.
You’ll know what you own.
If your home experiences a loss, you will have a complete home inventory list of the items in it for your claim. This is much easier than searching your memory for what was in the storage shed that burned down. And yes, your items in storage [HE1] are usually covered under your rental or homeowner’s policy.
Proof of Ownership
Most of us don’t have receipts for everything we own, but a home inventory gives you proof of ownership that can make filing your claim faster and simpler. This is especially true when you have gotten the details, such as serial numbers recorded. Photos and videos are another great way to document your home inventory.
For more than just your insurance company
If your home has been robbed, the information in your home inventory can often help police recover your property. It can also assist them in catching the criminals. Then later, it can be used in court as evidence to prosecute them.
When to Create Your Home Inventory
Only 43% of homeowners have an up-to-date home inventory. Yet, one in twenty homes is the subject of a claim each year. So, there is no time like the present to get your home inventory in order, especially considering how much time we are spending in our homes.
Ways of Creating a Home Inventory
Write Down the Details
The classic home inventory list can be made quickly with nothing more than a notebook and pen. You will want to record:
- The Item
- It’s location
- A brief description
- The date it was purchased
- Where it was purchased
- The purchase price
- Warranty information
- The item’s current condition
- Estimated value
- Serial Number
These can also be recorded in a spreadsheet on your computer.
Photos and Video
If all that seems too overwhelming, you can start by taking pictures and videos room by room. These can be used for reference if you need to file a claim. For high-value items such as computers, photograph the model and serial numbers, as well. During the video, narrate any critical information you would otherwise write down.
Store Your Home Inventory Safely
A copy of your home inventory should be kept somewhere safe, outside of your home, so that if a fire happens, it is available. If you have a digital inventory, store it in the cloud. Taking a picture of your list or having it in your email might help you when you need it! Let us know what we can do to help keep your personal items covered!
For all of your insurance needs, you can count on the reliable, independent insurance agents at Hermann Insurance. Contact us today!
Here are some helpful links:
 2020 Triple-I Consumer Poll – III. www.iii.org/sites/default/files/docs/pdf/2020_triple-i_consumer_poll_091620.pdf.
 “Facts + Statistics: Homeowners and Renters Insurance.” III, www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-homeowners-and-renters-insurance.