Take Time to Take Stock
In the event of a fire or other disaster, would you be able to remember all your possessions? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.
While spending more time at home and preparing for the change of season, September is a perfect month to take stock of what you’ve got!
3 Simple Ways to Get Started:
- Pick An Easy Spot: A contained area like your small kitchen appliance cabinet, your sporting equipment closet or your handbag shelf are all good places to begin.
- Last-First: Start with your most recent purchases and work backward to tackle older possessions.
Include basic information to describe each item noting the make and model, point of purchase, price paid and any other detail that might help to make a claim.
- Go Seasonal: Count summer clothes and sandals as you put them away for next year and count winter clothes and boots as you take them out for the season. Continue with other seasonal items as you move them into or out of storage– such as outdoor furniture, decor and tools.
- Record Serial Numbers— usually found on the back or bottom of major appliances and electronic equipment.
- Keep Proof of Value— store sales receipts, purchase contracts and appraisals with your list.
- Jewelry, Art and Collectibles may have increased in value and/or require special coverage separate from your standard homeowners insurance policy.
- Don’t Forget Off-Site Items— your belongings kept in a self-storage facility are covered by your homeowners insurance too. Make sure you include them in your inventory.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed:
Once you’ve started your inventory, keep going even if you can’t get it all done immediately. It’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all! A simple pencil and paper will suffice, but technology can make creating a home inventory much easier.
- Take Pictures: Create a photo record of your belongings. Capture important individual items as well as entire rooms, closets or drawers. Label photos with what’s pictured, where you bought it, the make or model- whatever information might be important to replace and/ or getting reimbursed for the item.
- Record It: Walk through your home videotaping and describing the contents. For example, you might describe the contents of a kitchen cabinet: “Poppies on Blue by Lenox, service for 12 that includes a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, cup and saucer. PUrchased in 2015.”
- Use An App: There are mobile app options that can help you create and store a room-by-room record of your belongings.
Up to Date & Safely Stored:
Your home inventory is only useful if it’s accurate and you can access it to provide information to your insurance company in case of fire, theft or other destructive disaster. Regardless of the medium you’ve used to create your list, keep it backed up and in a safe place.
- Make it a habit to add new purchase to the list while the details are fresh and the receipts are handy.
- Store a copy of your paper inventory, applicable receipts and appraisals outside the home in a safe deposit box or at a friend’s or relative’s home. Make at least one backup copy of your inventory document and store it separately. An easy way to make digital backup copies of your paper list is to take pictures of it on your smartphone.
- Backup digital files – Keep a copy on an external drive or online storage account.
- Understand your app – Be sure the information you input is backed up by the app developer and that you know how to access information when you need it.
Show Us Your Work!
- Let’s review your Inventory together; to make sure that you have the coverage you need. Call us today at 401-846-9629 for a free policy review.
Content: Nationwide Insurance ©2020