What if you lost everything you own? Would you be able to remember what you had? Unless you have a photographic memory, the answer is “no.” Instead of waiting until you have a loss and trying to remember what you have, we recommend that you conduct a home inventory. This way, in the event of a loss, you’ll have a record of everything you own to give to your insurance adjuster. This will save you time and effort and will assist your insurance company in putting you back to where you want to be. With today’s technology, conducting a home inventory is very easy, and it might even be fun!
A digital home inventory can be as simple as photographs of your belongings or as complex as an interactive video stored on the cloud. If you are the do-it-yourself type, here are some tips:
- Grab your cell phone or tablet and take pictures of your belongings. Work through your home one room at a time, taking multiple pictures of each room from different perspectives. You can also take a video while walking through each room and talk about your items as you record. Be sure to open up cabinet drawers and doors and closets to document the items they contain.
- Take individual pictures of big-ticket items, such as electronics, artwork, and jewelry. Be sure to include any identifying information, such as text on the back of paintings or underside of sculptures and serial numbers for electronics.
- Once you have your photographs, create a detailed list or spreadsheet of your items. Here is a home inventory brochure to give you an example of how to organize your items.
- Gather up invoices and any other documentation you have for each item to keep with your inventory.
- Keep multiple copies of you inventory. For example, you might keep a copy in a folder on your computer’s hard drive, a copy on the cloud, and a copy on a flash drive at your office or in a bank box.
- Don’t forget to update your inventory on a regular basis.
To help streamline the home inventory process, you can use an app like HomeZada. You can also hire a pro to do the inventory for you. Companies like TakeStock will come to your home and do a complete inventory and store it on their secure website.
After you’ve taken your home inventory or hired a company to do it for you, be sure to let your insurance agent know that you have it. In the process of conducting your home inventory, you might realize that you need to increase your coverage or schedule valuable items!