Keeping an inventory of personal belongings like your electronics, clothing, furniture and jewelry is important. When you don’t have documentation, substantiating your insurance claims can be frustrating and time consuming.
What is a Digital Home Inventory?
A digital home inventory allows you to organize and store your personal belongings you have in your home on an online record. It’s quick to update, flexible, and easy to access.
Typically, your electronic inventory list should include:
- Insurance policies: your basic homeowners insurance policy, contents insurance and any supplementary coverages such as flood damage coverage
- Homeowner’s documents like your title, deed, mortgage agreement, plat or survey map
- List of your personal belongings, including their cost
- Routine home maintenance schedule, whether done professionally or by yourself
- Property renovations that are completed, planned or in the process
Keeping an up-to-date digital home inventory can help you ensure you get adequate insurance coverage, verify losses or settle a claim faster.
Why You Need a Digital Home Inventory
Using electronic software for your home inventory is much more flexible, easy, and convenient than having to create an inventory that is hand-written. Some reasons why creating a digital home inventory list will benefit you include:
Be Better Organized
With a digital home inventory, you can categorize or tag any and all items in each room of your home. For instance, you could tag and categorize your jewelry, furniture and antiques. The software will allow you to break your reports down by room, property or item classifications.
Substantiate Tax Losses or Insurance Claims
A digital inventory app allows you to store your paper documents like any photos of your possessions, warranties or receipts into digital images. Then, if you suffer a loss, you can easily provide proof to claim income tax losses or insurance claims.
Establish Resale Value
You increase your home’s value by redecorating or replacing things like your HVAC or central air conditioning system. Permanent changes like this can also add to your home’s cost basis and reduce your capital gain taxes when you sell. In order to take advantage of this, you need documented proof of expenses like these.
Determine Insurance Coverage
With a few clicks of your mouse, you can assign each item a value in your digital home inventory list and get a total value of all your personal possessions. You will be able to figure out how much HOI you need using this total.
It’s essential that you backup your electronic list and keep a copy of it on an online storage account or external drive. This way, if your home is damaged, you can easily access this information to give to your insurance agent. Remember to add the details of each new significant purchase you make.
When shopping around for digital home inventory software, it’s important that you ensure the software supports importing images from your scanned documents or digital camera as well as simplifies the process of entering your items and organizing them into an easy to access list. Not all apps and software for your digital home inventory list will be the same, so it’s a good idea that you go over all the features of each one before you decide on which one best suit your needs.