Why Everyone Needs a Home Inventory List
We have a simple quiz to help you identify if you need a home inventory list:
- Would you be able to create a detailed list of ALL your belongings?
- Can you remember makes, models, and serial numbers of all your appliances?
- Do you have any idea how many jeans, jackets, shorts, t-shirts, etc. you have including brand names and purchase prices?
- Do you know how much it would cost to replace EVERY item at your home?
Everybody is different, and it is possible that there are people who can do that, but in general, most of the people have no idea how much things they have. In this article, we want to raise awareness about the importance of home inventory lists. We want to explain how a simple description of the items at your household can save you thousands of dollars and guarantee the payout you deserve. A lot of people neglect the fact that most insurance companies require a home inventory list in order to reimburse insured customers for a loss. Insurance companies at the same time do not emphasize the importance of a home inventory list.
What is a home Inventory List?
The home inventory list is a complete breakdown of personal belongings within a household. The most important part is that this list should include every item in your home, condo, or apartment. A more detailed description of each item can help you get the money you need to replace the item in case of a covered event. There are different variations of the lists, but there are general principles that can help you organize the home inventory. A home inventory list can be categorized by room, type of item, collection or any other criteria that would make it easier for you to cover all the items. The secret to a successful home inventory list is to include as much information as possible about the item:
- Make, Model, and Serial Number if applicable
- Purchase price
- Purchase location or website
- Date of Purchase
- Photos of the item
- Receipt if possible
Items that cannot be replaced such as art, collections, or antique should be discussed with your insurance carrier and may require a separate floater
Main reasons to have an updated home inventory list:
- First and the most important reason to have an updated home inventory list is to have an idea about the value of your personal belongings
- Understanding the value of personal belongings will help you get the right coverage and right insurance
- Being prepared for the emergencies, and getting paid on a claim quicker
- Getting the right amount of money from an insurance company in case of a total loss
What is The Best Time to Create a Home Inventory List?
The easiest answer to this simple question is right now unless you already have a well-managed and updated home inventory list. Creating a list that will guarantee you a full payout may take some time, but it is worth it. Starting a simple list is better than nothing, and you can download one right after this article. If you are buying a home for the first time, or just decided to move to a new apartment or condo, having an inventory list can help you understand:
- What your belongings worth
- How much insurance you need
- What kind of insurance will help you get the right amount of payout in case of emergency
Tips on Making a Home Inventory List
Any means of creating a home inventory list can help you achieve a piece of mind. But there are some simple steps that can help you organize the whole process.
- Create a digital list, either in PDF or Excel, and include all necessary information in there
- Take photos of the items with brand names and serial numbers if applicable
- Record a walk-around video of your home, visiting each room, and opening each drawer and cabinet
- Upload all the information on two flash drives. Keep one in the fireproof safe, and keep another one in a location other than your home
- Create a cloud account specifically for your home inventory, and upload all the files in there
- Update list every 6 months, or after a big purchase
Another important thing to remember is to avoid including the address of your house on any of the documents related to home inventory, in case it falls in the wrong hands.
There are tons of cases each year when the insurance company declines to pay insured customers a full amount without a home inventory list. Often victims of the wild-fires or other covered events are required to create a list based on what they remember. Trying to remember all of your belongings under the pressure will definitely make this list smaller than it is supposed to be. It is also important to consult with an independent insurance agency in order to find out which carriers offer full reimbursement without a home inventory list. Click below to download a free home inventory list from the Mathenia Insurance Group