Working with your insurance to file a claim has the potential to be a huge headache, but it doesn’t have to be. A little preparation before you ever have a disaster can save you a TON of trouble down the road. One of the best things you can do to speed up an insurance claim is to have a home inventory.
What is a home inventory?
A home inventory is basically a list of all the things you own and their value. The list should have as much of the following information as possible:
- Item Description (make, model, serial number, etc)
- Purchase Date
Along with a written record, it is good to take photographs or videos of anything on your home inventory list. The combination of a visual record and a written record that are both organized well will be extremely valuable to you and your insurance company if ever you need to make a claim. A good way to do this is to make a spreadsheet and list each room in your house, as well as areas like your shed, garage, and attic. Pretty much anywhere you store the things you own. It’s easy to overlook some of the areas you don’t go too much.
Update your home inventory frequently
It’s important to keep your home inventory accurate. As you sell or get rid of things make sure to take them off the list and any new purchases need to be added to the list. Making a habit of doing this is vital to a successful home inventory.
Protect your home inventory list
A home inventory list is no good to you if it is destroyed in a disaster. Keep a copy somewhere safe. In another blog post, we talked about keeping your valuables safe. There are quite a few options for the safe storage of documents like this. Everything from fireproof safes and safety deposit boxes, to digital copies on computers and online cloud storage. Just make sure when one list gets updated, they all do.
Many insurance companies help you with your home inventory by offering templates and online tools that direct and organize the home inventory. The process is much smoother when you have something like this to guide you. There are also apps for your phone and computer that sync to each other which can be extremely useful. Ask your insurance provider if they have any tools for you to use or if they prefer any specific software or app. You can easily find which solution works best for you and rest easier knowing that if there ever is theft or disaster, you can quickly and accurately file a claim.