A home inventory list provides you with a safety net in case your valuables are lost, stolen or damaged. Sure, we’ve all misplaced something in our homes (your favorite shirt disappears or you can’t find the book you were reading), or broken things on occasion (various dishes and glassware over the years), but we are talking about your big-ticket items like expensive electronics and jewelry. When these items are lost, stolen or damaged, you’ll want to file a homeowners insurance claim. If your property is well documented, it will speed the process and ensure you don’t forget to make claims on any of your valuable items.
Use photos, video and documentation
To start, begin making a spreadsheet of everything in your home you want insured. Be sure to include things like serial numbers, manufacturer and model. It’s also helpful to save receipts or credit card statements to show how much you paid for the items. Using photos or video is also a good way to prove ownership.
Consider professional appraisals
For higher-end items such as jewelry, artwork, antiques or collectibles, you may want to have a professional do an appraisal. Keep the appraisal as well as the appraiser’s name and address in your files.
Store in a safe place
Finally, be sure to keep your records in safe place. They won’t do you any good if they are stolen along with your valuables, or destroyed in a flood or fire. Keeping them in a safe deposit box is a great option. You may also be able to keep a copy with your insurance agent.
In addition to a paper copy of the list, make sure you have a digital record of your possessions backed up on a cloud storage drive like Mozy, Dropbox or Google Drive. You can even look into smartphone apps or websites designed to take a home inventory, complete with photos and detailed descriptions. If you’re ever the victim of a robbery or natural disaster, a home inventory checklist can speed up the process of restoring your possessions, or at least the value of the items you lost.