Insurance Blog
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 05:48

Home and Business Inventory Checklist

Home Inventory checklist

Now is a great time to take a few minutes this winter to make a home or business inventory. If disaster strikes, or your home or business is burglarized and your belongings are destroyed or stolen, an inventory makes the insurance claims process a lot simpler. Being able to provide a detailed home inventory to a claims adjuster can help you and your insurance company settle on a fair amount for your belongings and it helps you get your possessions replaced quicker. Creating a home inventory doesn’t have to be completely daunting. Here are a few tips for compiling your home inventory:

  • Take one room at a time; 15 minutes at a time. Keep the task manageable by breaking it into smaller pieces by focusing on one room at a time and for just 15 minutes. Repeat until all of your rooms are complete!
  • Details, details, details. A home inventory includes a comprehensive list of all your belongings, along with receipts (if you have them), photos, and descriptions. For items such as electronics be sure to record the serial number of the item.
  • Divide and conquer. Instead of making one long list of your items, break it down by room and/or type of item, such as clothing, heirlooms, electronics, and jewelry. This will make the home inventory less overwhelming and decrease the chances that you’ll overlook something.
  • Know what your stuff is worth. If you have antiques, family heirlooms, or other valuables that don’t have receipts, you may want to have them appraised in order to determine their value.
  • Don't forget to check the attic. When taking your inventory, make sure you don’t overlook items that are stored in the closet, drawers, attic, or garage. Bicycles, holiday decorations, and sports equipment may be out of sight, but their cost adds up. Make sure you include everything – even if it’s in storage – on your list. 
  • Add it up. Once you have a full document of all your belongings, along with their values, add up all the items in your home and their total cost. 
  • Keep it safe. Store your complete home inventory with your insurance policy in a safe, easily accessible place, such as a fireproof box, safe deposit box, or other secure location. Technology today also makes it possible to keep your home inventory digitally using cloud storage.
  • Take stock annually. Remember to review and update your inventory each year, or whenever you make a significant purchase, to ensure your new items are documented.

There are many easy home inventory tools that can help and are available as apps for your Droid or iPhone, on your computer or simply as a paper checklist. Here are a few for you to check out:

There are great mobile apps that offer a home inventory tool which allows you to use your smart phone or tablet to take pictures and document important details of your belongings. It also allows you to maintain multiple inventories, so you can categorize your belongings by type (electronics, furniture, etc.) or by room in the house. This app is free and available through both the App Store and Google Play:

Know Your Stuff. An app provided by the Insurance Information Institute. Disasters can happen anytime, but with the Know Your Stuff® Home Inventory app, you’ll always have an up-to-date record of your belongings. Know Your Stuff® is a snap to use: Just take photos of your belongings and fill in a few key details. Your data automatically syncs with free cloud storage, giving you secure access whenever you want. You also can access this online at  Download the Know Your Stuff® app for iPhone or Android.

And if your preference is to complete the task with pen and paper, here's a form you can use:

Great Inventory Form for You to Print - here's a link to a pdf form that you can print on your home computer if you prefer the traditional pen to paper way to keep organized.

Read 4237 times Last modified on Friday, 24 February 2017 16:31

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