If disaster strikes your home, are you prepared? You want to ensure your home and family are protected and to maximize how much you can recover in the event of a disaster. Having homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is a crucial first step to accomplishing this, but it isn’t the only step. Once you have insurance, you need to inventory all your belongings: furniture, appliances, clothing, collectibles, jewelry, cleaning supplies, toiletries, even the food in your fridge. This can be a daunting undertaking, but having an accurate inventory of your belongings can more than double the amount of reimbursement you can request. Here are a couple ways to create your inventory; be sure to check with your policy first to see what type of inventories they accept.
Option One: Take Pictures
Photographing or videotaping everything in your home is one of the fastest ways to create a personal property inventory. Just take a photo of every room in your house facing each direction. If you use this approach, be sure to take photos or videos of all drawers in both open and closed positions. If you have a drawer or closet full of items, pull everything out and spread it out on a bed or table to get a clear view of everything within.
Option Two: Write Everything Out
One of the best though most time consuming options is to go room by room and create a comprehensive list of everything in your home. A program like Google Sheets is great for this because it’s easy to access, easy to edit, and can be accessed from any device if your computer or flash drive is damaged. Next to each item, jot down how much you paid for it or its estimated value. If you have receipts or model numbers for an item, or if you know when an item was purchased, add that in your document as well.
Remember, creating an inventory isn’t a one-time thing. It will need to be updated. Whenever you purchase a big-ticket item, such as a new appliance or electronics, scan or photograph the receipts and add the items to your inventory.