Why Every Homeowner Needs a Home Inventory
They say that your home is your biggest investment (that’s why we have homeowner’s insurance to protect it), but what about everything inside of it? Over the years, homeowners accumulate a lot of things, and many do so without even realizing it.
A home inventory gives you a running list of everything in your home, from furniture to valuables, heirlooms and everything in between.
While a home inventory may take a few hours to complete, the benefits can be long-lasting.
Why Do You Need a Home Inventory?
There are benefits to taking a home inventory. For starters, it allows you to take a long, hard look at everything you own and identify items that you may want to get rid of.
More importantly, a home inventory helps you prepare for an emergency. If there’s a fire, robbery or natural disaster, like a hurricane, tornado or earthquake, you will have an updated list of your belongings to include with your home insurance claims. This can have a significant impact on how much your insurance will pay.
Without an accurate record of your belongings, you may find it difficult to remember everything that you’ve lost. If a fire destroys everything in your home, would you be able to accurately create a list of everything you own? In times of crisis, it’s challenging to remember such details. When filing an insurance claim, the insurance company may not pay out as much as they would have with an accurate home inventory.
Having an updated home inventory will save you stress and time if you should have to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance provider in the future.
How to Perform an Inventory
Depending on the size of your home and how many items you have, taking a home inventory may seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be.
Thanks to technology, creating a home inventory can be as simple as:
- Taking a 360-degree video of each room in your home
- Uploading those videos to the cloud, or sending them to yourself through email
A video inventory may have advantages over a written list, primarily because you have visual proof of the items in your home.
Here are some tips:
- While taking videos, it can be helpful to describe the items you’re seeing and how much you paid for them (if you can remember).
- If you still have receipts for these items, photograph them for proof.
- Take down or photograph brand names and/or serial numbers. This will ensure that your insurance company will be able to replace belongings with similar or exact items.
If taking videos isn’t an option for you, you can take photos of your belongings instead.
Some insurance companies offer home inventory tools that make this process even easier.
It’s worth the time and effort to make a home inventory. If you ever have to file a home insurance claim, you will be armed with an accurate list of your belongings, which will greatly increase your chances of being made whole after a disaster. Without a complete list of your items, you may walk away with far less than you would have otherwise.