In the event of a fire or other disaster, would you be able to remember all your possessions?

We know how important your personal belongings are to you.  That’s why it’s important to create and maintain an accurate household inventory.    A few things to get you started are listed below:

  1. Keep a detailed list of all items – don’t forget the smaller items like towels, shoes, and number of pairs of jeans.
  2. Check coverage on big ticket items – Jewelry, art and collectibles may have increased in value and may need special coverage separate from your standard homeowners insurance policy. While you’re making your inventory list, check with your agent to make sure you have adequate insurance for these items before there is a loss.
  3. Keep proof of value – store sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals.
  4. Take pictures or take video – Take photos of rooms or walk through your house or apartment videotaping and describing contents.
  5. Record serial and model numbers.
  6. 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.
  7. Keep the document or photos in a safe place outside your home, such as a family member’s home or safety deposit box. Keep a second copy in a home safe or with other important documents.

Also, make sure you understand what your current homeowners policy covers.  Is it replacement cost? Is it actual cash value?  If you have replacement cost coverage- meaning the insured items will either be repaired to the same condition as before or replaced with new ones of like kind and quality- having documentation of what your insurance will cover will be helpful if you need to file a claim.

If your life is upended by a disaster, it’s difficult to create an accurate and complete inventory from memory.  By preparing a household inventory, you’ll have a complete list of your belongings and one less things to complete after disaster strikes.