Three reasons to take a home inventory

January 8, 2021

One of the best ways to make the most of your homeowners or renters insurance is to create an inventory of your personal possessions and reassess it annually. Doing so also makes filing a claim easier and more efficient. 

A home inventory is a list of your possessions and an estimate of their financial value. Taking pictures of items and writing down serial numbers is also recommended. An easy way to create an inventory is to write it down in a notebook and keep receipts in a separate folder. You can also take a tech-savvy route and use a digital camera to document your items and a smartphone to organize the files. Store these items in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box, so that the files can be located quickly in the case of a disaster. Having an up-to-date home inventory will: 

  • Help you purchase the right amount and type of insurance. A complete list of all your possessions will be helpful when you’re having a conversation with your insurance professional about decisions on homeowners or renters insurance coverage.
  • Make filing a claim as simple as possible. Most people cannot recall what items they keep in their attic, kitchen cabinets, or downstairs closet. In the case of a fire, storm, or other catastrophe, this is especially so. Having your belongings already documented in a home inventory will be a huge relief during times like these. 
  • Substantiate financial losses for tax purposes or when applying for financial assistance. Following a catastrophe, the only way to determine if you qualify for a tax break or disaster assistance is to substantiate your financial losses. A well-organized home inventory will be useful in tackling the process. 

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