How to Take the Ultimate Home Inventory
Would you be able to list everything that was damaged, destroyed or lost in your house or apartment if you had to file a claim with your insurance company?
Trying to remember everything as you are dealing with the mental trauma of your abode being destroyed is not an easy task. You would have a thousand things on your mind, like finding your most important personal documents and family heirlooms, in addition to trying to arrange a place to live.
But you can avoid this potential distress - and the risk of your insurer disputing or not paying the claim - by preparing a detailed home inventory.
More than 75% of U.S. homeowners don't have an inventory, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. And of those who do have one, they generally don't keep their records up to date.
Having a home inventory can make filing a claim much easier, and it increases the chances the getting the claim paid, too. Also, if you prepare an inventory it will help you assign value to your possessions, which in turn can help you and the insurer decided how much insurance you actually need.
It may sound like a daunting task to just get started, but fortunately TWS Home Inventory and Asset Management Group has created this handy list to help you take stock of your stuff.
Read your policy and discuss it with us
You need to understand your policy so you can know if you are you covered for the replacement value of your possessions or only actual cash value, or whether you need any special riders or endorsements for specialty items, such as:
Shoot the property from all sides, including any landscaping, outdoor furniture and accoutrements.
Take photos of each room from all angles
Make sure that your pictures cover every piece of furniture, art and other decorations in every room.
Open every closet, cupboard and drawer
Go through all the places that you keep your possessions and, if you find anything of value, document it. Document when and where you got it and how much you paid for it.
If you haven't gotten in the habit of doing so, keep receipts for all of your big purchases.
Don't forget to photograph and document your clothes. If you have any expensive items, like fur coats, business suits or fancy dresses, take separate photos of them.
Take pictures and list the details of computers, mobile phones, tablets…