A home inventory of what you own can make an insurance claim for damage or loss faster and easier. But many of us don’t worry much about what we have until it’s gone.
Preparing a home inventory does require a bit of work up front but it will save you painstaking effort later should you ever need to figure out with your insurer what you own and the value of it to repair or replace.
What are valuables?
Anything can be a valuable depending how much you paid, what the market value is at the time of damage or loss. Art (paintings, sculpture), collectibles (stamps, comic books, music or videos), jewellery, clothing, silverware and linen, electronics (camera, TV, stereo, computer) are commonly defined as valuables.
Creating a List
There are different ways to create a home inventory, but a few key things to know:
- Include all the details you need.
Name and describe the item, what part of the home it’s in (room or location), the brand, make/model, serial number, purchase price, and any other details you think are vital. Using an Excel spreadsheet is handy because the self-totalling columns can help you tally up the total value of your belongings.
- Keep a visual record of belongings.
In addition, insurers recommend taking digital photos of your items and catalogue them. Take a picture of each item you enter in the inventory. Another option is to videotape your home room by room, panning around first, and then zooming in on individual valuables. It helps to open doors and drawers to get a sense of how much clothing, linens, etc. you own.
- Update it regularly.
Keep a running list and update it as you make new purchases, adding the items to your inventory and filing a copy of the receipt, warranty, instruction manual, and anything else that helps to establish value and proof of ownership.