Creating a Home Inventory
How many possessions could the average homeowner name from memory? That number is likely much smaller than it should be. Without looking through your drawers, cabinets and closets, most homeowners may find it challenging to not only list these items, but to provide descriptions, purchase dates, current prices and other relevant details.
Why should creating an accurate inventory of all personal possessions be at the top of your to-do list? Because it is nearly impossible to remember all the contents you had in your home if it’s destroyed. Providing this information is an important and required part of filing a property insurance claim and getting the maximum financial settlement that is owed to you under your policy.
Here are a few tips on what to do when preparing a personal property inventory:
First, start with one room by writing down every item contained in that room. It is important to include everything in the inventory – both big and small – so the kids’ toys, old CD’s and everything in the junk drawer should be documented. Include details such as: Age, purchase price, colors, materials, model numbers, features and brands. Not including enough detail – such as the brand, fabric or style of a couch – can lead to lower insurance payouts.
Then, move onto the next room and repeat the process until all rooms have been inventoried.
Your next step is to take photos and/or slow videos of every room including shots of opened drawers, cabinets, closets and dressers. Please note that photos are much easier to use when filing insurance claims than videos are, so pictures are the preferred method. When it comes to inventories, photos are worth a thousand words.
Store the inventory and backup documentation on a server or in the cloud along with any photos, videos, scanned receipts, warranties, credit card statements or other backup documentation. A safety deposit box or a trusted relative or friend’s home can be used to store printed documents. Remember that the inventory should be looked at as a working document – so when new items are purchased, they should be added to the list. At a minimum, the list and photo documentation should be reviewed and updated every couple of years.
Benefits of Creating an Inventory
There are two surprising benefits of creating an inventory. First, the process of creating a home inventory can help you determine if you have purchased enough insurance coverage. You may find that your personal property is worth much more than the amount for which you are covered in which case, you will need to speak to your agent or broker about increasing your coverage. This often occurs with renter’s insurance.
The second surprising benefit of conducting your own personal inventory is that a detailed inventory can help prove and verify a policyholder’s standard of living — especially for high dollar items such as expensive clothing, artwork, wines, décor and other collectibles.
We strongly advise all policyholders to prepare an accurate personal property inventory so that it will be ready in the event a fire, hurricane or other disaster that damages or destroys your home.
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Claims Aid Consultants, Inc. is a Florida Public Adjusting firm. We exclusively represent home and business owners after they have suffered a flood, fire or other disaster for which they make an insurance claim. Claims Aid Consultants works on behalf of the policyholder to ensure the insurance claim process is navigated and documented correctly.
If you need help with property damage, visit the contact us page here or call Antonio Hernandez PA at 954-482-5246.