Check Off a Few Boxes on Your Spring Cleaning List
Spring cleaning has begun and we wanted to help you check off some boxes on your list. It is so important to have a Home Inventory Checklist. After attending an Insurance Review at the office, we would love to come to your home and help you document and photograph your belongings. This is something we offer for our valued clients and we will happily keep a copy of your Home Inventory on file at our office.
When the contents of a home are destroyed or stolen, one of the most difficult aspects of recovering from the loss can be making an inventory of what is missing or destroyed. We provide Home Inventory Forms for our clients to write down all the items and their approximate dollar value in case of an event.
Filling out this form is one of the most important things you can do to help protect your assets—if your house ever burns down or floods, or if there’s a burglary, the odds are very low that you will be able to remember all of the items you had inside your home. If you want to truly protect yourself in case of a loss, take the time to write down a list of everything you own, its value, and where it’s located in the house.
Your Home Inventory should be organized by each room in the house, and include every article and its description, the date when it was purchased and what the purchase price was. It is also wise to keep receipts on hand. Most insurers are going to request some type of proof that the item was owned in order to settle the claim. This list or inventory would also be helpful to hand to police should a burglary occur and may make it easier for them to find your stolen items.
Make it Fireproof
Having this inventory of your home’s items is important, but realize that even the most detailed inventory list will be of little use if it gets burned up in a fire that destroys the house! Once your list is made, you should give a copy to us to file away, and and make another copy to put in a safety deposit box. (If you don’t have a safety deposit box, talk to your bank or credit union about getting one—they’re relatively inexpensive and very helpful. In Colorado Springs, Ent Federal Credit Union offers safe deposit boxes starting at just $15/year.) A third copy may be kept at your home for reference.
When you purchase big items such as expensive electronics, jewelry or furniture, make sure to update the list. And don’t just update your copy at home—make sure to give us an updated list and update the one in the safe deposit box as well. This type of inventory is an ongoing affair. As items are replaced, sold or added to, changes in the list must be made. A major mistake many people make is creating an initial list, but never updating it as changes occur. An easy way to keep our office updated on your new Home Inventory List is through scheduling an biannual FFR with Mark.
Take Pictures And Be Detailed!
Many professionals recommend taking pictures or video of your home’s items rather than making a list. In truth, both are very useful. Pictures certainly offer better proof of ownership, but they do not give price and purchase date information. A combination of the two work is the best way to go. Here’s a basic overview of making a great home inventory list:
- Photograph each room.
- Take separate pictures of each important item within the room.
- List all items in the room, remembering things like drapes, rugs and wall decorations.
- List the contents of closets and drawers (i.e. “2 pairs of black slacks,” etc.) Clothing can be very expensive to replace. Don’t forget things like matched luggage or designer dresses.
- List the serial numbers of appliances along with the purchase date and price paid.
- On larger items such as major appliances and furniture, include lots of details about dates manufactured, quality, etc. For example, a sofa that is an 1800’s antique has much more value than a sofa made last year.
- Keeping the list updated is simply a matter of adding in the receipts for new purchases and removing items no longer owned.
I hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please take action and create a Home Inventory List now if you haven’t already. If you need help getting started, you can download a free checklist in PDF format here provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) or we can come to your home to help you get started. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call my office at 719-593-9916 and let me know.
Thanks and keep it safe!