Homeowner’s Insurance: The Importance of Taking Inventory

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If I have seen it once, I have seen it a hundred times, clients and friends going about their daily business and disaster suddenly strikes. It can happen in the form of a flood, fire, or severe weather, but no matter the reason, a homeowner’s insurance claim is phoned in. From there, the claims adjusters do what they do best; take stock and inventory of the damaged items in a property to determine compensation from the insurance company. What about if the home is a total loss in a storm or if the property burnt down? At that point, everything is not quite so cut and dried. That’s why it’s vital to have a record of the items in your home, to make the claims process much simpler.

-Make a list
Create a list of the important items in your property. Take account of more expensive items like televisions, computers, personal electronics, furniture and appliances. Write down the make and model number, as well as what you paid for it when you purchased it. Keep that list either on a secure website (that can be accessed from anywhere) like Dropbox.com or in a safety deposit box at a bank. My professional advice is to keep a record in both places.

-Take video catalog
Once the list is made, take video record or digital photos of the items in your home. The photographic inventory simplifies the claim process and expedites verification from the adjuster. As with the list, store photos and videos on a secure, online site as well as a copy of the video in a safe deposit box at your bank.

-Update the list regularly
Whenever you purchase new furniture, electronics or other expensive items, be certain to update your directory within 24 ‘” 48 hours after the purchase, and add photos and video to your existing inventory. Having an up to date list is essential to timely resolution of insurance claims in the event that the worst happens.

There is never a substitute for being properly repaired in the event of an emergency. Even if you never have to file a homeowner’s insurance claim, having a running inventory of the items in your house can help you when you sell those items, or add value to your property if you choose to include those items as part of the sale.