Close your eyes and try to imagine every item in your home. If you’re like most people, you’re probably forgetting about dozens, if not hundreds of items. If your home were to burn down, for example, you’d likely have a hard time providing proof of ownership for all your belongings, which can make the claims process tricky. Creating a home inventory list before disaster strikes can go a long way toward a smooth and fruitful claims process. Here’s how to create a home inventory.
A home inventory is a record of your personal possessions and their estimated value. While there’s no one right way to create a home inventory list, there are some guidelines that can help save you headaches in the future.
A home inventory list can be as low-tech or high-tech as you want it to be. For some, their list will be written in a notebook with paperclipped receipts, while others will opt to use a high-tech home inventory app like Sortly or Encircle. The first step to creating your home inventory list is to decide which format makes the most sense for you.
While you may not have every piece of information for every item in your home, it’s best to include a description of the item, where and when you bought it, the make and model, the price, the serial number, a picture of the item, and a picture of the receipt. That said, an incomplete home inventory is better than no home inventory, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have every piece of information, especially when you’re dealing with smaller, lower cost items.
This type of project can easily start to feel overwhelming, so be sure to start smart. You might, for example, want to start with your most recent purchases, as you’ll have a better shot of easily tracking down receipts and other information for those items. Alternatively, you might choose to begin with a small, contained area like a closet.
Especially when you’re dealing with items like clothes, shoes, drapery, and tableware, you can group items together for convenience. You might, for example, notate that you have twelve pairs of shoes and take a picture of them all together when creating your home inventory list. Just be sure to make note of any particularly valuable items within these categories.
Now that you know how to create a home inventory list, it’s time to get started. If you have any lingering questions, your independent insurance agent should be able to help. In the meantime, check out the Grange Insurance Association blog, where we cover everything from what you need to know about scheduled and unscheduled property coverage to loss of use Home insurance.
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