If the time were to come that you needed to file a claim with your homeowners or renters insurance, they will need an inventory of your belongings. In order to simplify the process of filing a claim, you should complete a home inventory as you are first moving into or setting up your new home. Having a complete and detailed inventory will speed up the process and allow for insurance companies process your claim quickly.
Another important reason for a home inventory is determining the amount of homeowners insurance you may need. Homeowners and renters insurance can include coverage of big items up to a certain amount. If the value of your belongings exceeds this amount, you may need to purchase additional insurance to cover your most valuable belongings.
For individuals in the midst of a busy move into a new home or a new rental, completing a home inventory may seem like a time-consuming and unnecessary task. This sentiment is understandable, there is so much paperwork that comes with moving, applying for a mortgage, or signing a lease. You may be wondering: “Is a detailed inventory of my belongings really a good use of my time?”
The truth is, completing a home inventory now is much simpler than trying to complete it in the unfortunate case that you have lost everything. After a fire or natural disaster, do you think you could easily recall each item you lost? This is a difficult task for even those who are not in the middle of a traumatic life event.
Tips for Completing a Home Inventory
Creating a home inventory doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. There are many free inventory tools online which can be used to simplify the process, such as the forms provided here and here. As you complete your inventory, you may find it beneficial to separate your belongings into categories.
Be sure to make note of information such as make, model, and location of purchase. If you are the owner of the large appliances and electronics in your home or rental, you should include the serial numbers of these items in your inventory. If you have receipts and appraisals, be sure to include this in your inventory as well.
The chance of needing a home inventory may seem unlikely. Because of this, it may seem like an unnecessary task. However, imagine how difficult it would be to move on past a fire, burglary, or natural disaster if you couldn’t replace the items which make your life comfortable now? If disaster strikes, you will find comfort in being able to quickly move on from the incident. The sooner your claim is processed by your insurance agency, the sooner you can start making the necessary steps to returning to your normal way of life.
As a homeowner or renter, completing a home inventory may be one of the most important steps that you take towards protecting your most valuable belongings.