In light of the tornadoes wreaking havoc across North Texas last month, there is no better time than now to take a home inventory to document everything you own for insurance purposes. In the event of a tornado, burglary, damage or fire, you will want to be prepared and make sure your possessions are documented.
Taking a home inventory isn’t really hard, it’s just time consuming. It’s also extremely important; a good inventory will speed up the insurance claims process and ensure your insurance takes care of everything you lost.
Many tools can guide you through taking your inventory and storing it (we’ll list some below), but the basics are pretty simple. You’ll want to take pictures of all your stuff. (It’s also a good idea to take pictures of serial numbers of your electronics etc.) If you’ve got a video camera, you can simply walk through your home and film every room for a good and simple start.
It is very important that you store your inventory outside your home in some form. You could store it at your office or somewhere else outside of your home. If it’s digital, upload it to a server somewhere. Videos can go to YouTube or Vimeo (marked as private), images can be uploaded to Flickr, synced with Dropbox, or emailed to yourself.
A full home inventory can help do the following:
- It can help you figure out how much insurance to buy.
- Help verify losses for your income tax return.
- Speed up the claims process.
From the basement to attic, furniture to fixtures. If you bought it, it goes on the list.
For everything in the inventory, you’ll want to include a(n):
- Description of the item
- Serial number
- Purchase date
- Estimated value
How you make the inventory is up to you though. You can write everything down in a notebook, make a spreadsheet, download inventory apps, or be creative and make a home movie of all your stuff.
- Go from room to room and organize your list that way. It’s faster and easier.
- Save receipts! You’ll want to describe the cost of your inventoried items, and receipts are much more accurate than guessing.
- Take pictures! Pull out that smart phone, digital camera, or reliable old Polaroid and visually record the things on your inventory.
Once you’ve got your inventory (whatever form it takes), make sure to protect it. Store it in a safety deposit box, in a strong safe or lockbox, on a cloud storage service, or with a friend. Just make sure it’ll survive if there’s ever major damage to your home. Remember that’s what it’s there for!
We are an independent insurance agency with locations in Mansfield and Midlothian, TX.
We can be reached at 817-277-6166. We would be happy to help you with any questions you may have.