How To Take Inventory of Your Home for Insurance Purposes

Living room

How much are your possessions worth? We’re not talking about your home or property. We’re talking about all the little and big things stored inside those four walls. Furniture, family heirlooms, games consoles and that beautifully expensive, flat screen. All of these things probably add up to quite a lot of money. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the full list of items in a home to add up to thousands. In some cases, they can rival the cost of the home themselves. Small homes, in particular, tend to be packed with expensive items. Usually, because the owner has saved by buying a small property and has more cash for purchases. Just think about how much money you would need to spend to replace all the items in your home. It could amount up to a small fortune.

This is why you need to create an inventory of items in your home. You never know when disaster could strike, and you could lose anything. Valuable and invaluable possessions lost forever with no way of getting the money they worth back.

Risks and Consequences

An inventory will help protect you financially in the event of lost items from your home. This might be due to theft, accidental damage or damage to the property. You might come home one evening to discover that your house has been robbed while you were out. Luckily, they left the priceless items but everything else is gone! Or, perhaps you wake up in the middle of the night to find your home is on fire. You’re not going to try to hurl your prized possessions out the window in an attempt to save them. You’ll be far more interested in saving yourself and your family. Perhaps, your kid was playing a ball game in the home, and that big TV was smashed. Now, you need to claim on the insurance, and you’ll need to prove you actually owned one in the first place. That can be difficult and time-consuming if you didn’t keep the receipt.

If you don’t have an inventory, your insurance provider may deny you coverage for loss in your home. Otherwise, people could start claiming they had a Picasso in their living room, and it’s such a shame there isn’t any evidence of it left. Once you write your inventory, you’ll be amazed by the items you have in your home. Items that you wouldn’t have thought twice about. Until you realized just how valuable they are.

Of course, it is possible that you still may be able to make an insurance claim without an inventory. Particularly, if you have evidence that you owned the items which you’re claiming. That could be a video recording from a family member’s birthday party. The problem with this is that that evidence might have disappeared in the fire. Or, it may not show everything that you want to claim.

It can be quite an emotional experience to write down all your lose possessions. Having the inventory can make a situation like this a lot easier.

Creating An Inventory And Documenting It

According to recent research, 60 percent of the country's population don’t have a home inventory. You can get different types of insurance coverage when you have an inventory. You can claim the cash value of the items that you have, but you’ll be paid what the items are worth today- not what they were worth when you bought them. For instance, you may have bought a PS4 for seven hundred but today, it’s only worth three hundred.

There are a few ways to create and document your inventory. It depends on how tech savvy you want to be. You may want to go the old fashioned route and use a notebook. Take photos of your belongings with a description and make sure it is accurate as possible. You may also want to use a video recording and the same rule applies. This evidence needs to be kept in a place where it is safe.

The best way to create an inventory these days is online. Store it on a cloud server or you can even download an inventory app. That way, you can guarantee you will have all the evidence you need for insurance purposes.

Make sure you pick a simple way to organize your belongings. You can do it by room or by category. The category might be better because people commonly move belongings from room to room. It’s the easiest way to miss things out or accidentally not them down twice.

Using It To Make A Claim

Once you’ve got an inventory, you’ll be able to use it to make a claim. Be aware, though, insurance providers may only give fifty to seventy percent of the full value of the home. This is one of the reasons why a full inventory is so important. You will also need to make a claim as soon as possible.

Contact your insurance provider and make sure that you are both on the same page about the policy.  If it takes a while for your provider to make a move on your claim, you can contact your insurance regulator office.

You should provide the full list of your inventory and wait for a fair cash claim. Do not accept the first amount offered if you do not believe it is fair based on the value of your property. Remember, you now have a complete list of evidence for everything that was in your home.

Keeping It Current

Finally, it is important that you do keep your inventory current. We suggest that you check and amend your inventory once a year. Of course, you can simply add to it when you buy new possessions. This is easy to do if you are using an inventory app. However, make sure items that are no longer in the home are deleted. Otherwise, it can look like you are trying to claim on items that you do not own.