Let’s play a little game. Off the top of your head, jot down a list of everything that you own in 60 seconds. You probably remembered the high-value stuff, right? The game system, sound system, TV, an antique or a special piece of jewelry. However, overall, how confident are you that you could make an accurate list of everything you own? In the event of an insurance claim due to fire, theft, or any other number of maladies, having an accurate list of your personal property is an essential part of making sure that you get those items covered by insurance. Having a Home Inventory can solve this issue.

If you have a federally backed mortgage, you are required to carry home owner’s insurance. As part of the home insurance process, your agent should have had a conversation with you about your “personal property”. They should have asked you all sorts of nosy questions like, “Do you have any jewelry that needs special coverage?” and “Do you have collectibles or firearms?”. You may have wondered why this matters at the time, but they were asking for a reason.

Super high-value items are often covered on a separate policy with specific coverage (think of items like your wedding rings, expensive art work, etc. Pretty much anything that would need an appraisal). These are also probably the items that first came to mind when we played the game at the beginning of this blog. However, what about all your other items? What about your clothes and dishes and knick-knacks? Do you feel confident that you would remember all of what you lost in the event of a claim? The average household in America has approximately 300,000 items. The odds are not in favor of your remembering all those items when the time comes for a claims adjuster to assess your loss. So what do you do? You make a home inventory.

Check out these “Top Three Tips for Creating a Home Inventory”

1-) Take pictures or videos:

To make a very simple home inventory, lay out all of your high-value tech devices to include your cell phone, computers, lap tops, iPad, cameras, game systems, sound systems, etc. and take pictures of the devices. If you have make and model information for the devices, snap a picture of that as well. Having all the devices laid out makes capturing pictures of these items easier. For larger items such as furniture and appliances, try taking pictures of rooms or make a short video being sure to walk through each room and capture the items there. When you get a new item, be sure to snap a picture and add that to your inventory file. Remember to save your pictures remotely by saving them in a cloud or emailing them to yourself. It does not help to have created an inventory but then lose the pictures because the device they are stored on was stolen or damaged.

2-) Store your paperwork remotely:

For high-value items such as wedding rings, high-end jewelry, etc., you likely will have an appraisal. Snap a picture of this appraisal or scan it electronically to save in your picture file. Be sure to save item such as appraisals, birth certificates, passports or other valuable items in a fire-safe box that is stored in a safe location. While these items are not losses that you would file on your insurance, losing these important papers can cost you time and money to replace.

3-) Save your receipts:

Saving your receipts can provide valuable information on the details of the item when it comes to claims time. If you prefer keeping paper records, try a file organizer and store this in your fire safe box. For the easiest storage method, try an electronic storage of your receipts. There are tons of apps out there that allow you to snap a picture of your receipt and file it by category electronically. You can check out some of these electronic options here. Whatever your method, be sure that you keep your receipts, especially for high-value items, handy for your claims adjuster.

Creating a home inventory should be part of your homeowner’s checklist. Having a system in place will save you headache, hassle, and money in the event of a claim.

The Choice Insurance Agency serves thousands of households and small businesses in and around Hampton Roads with offices on the Southside and the Peninsula. The Choice Insurance Agency performs in the top 10% of all Nationwide Agencies across the country. Our team of 13 associates has a combined 175 years of experience in financial services with expertise in virtually all areas of protection and wealth-building.The Choice Insurance Agency’s mission is to get you from where you are to where you want to be, by helping you build your plan, achieve your plan, and protect your plan from uncontrollable events. In the process, we are committed to delivering to you the best financial products and services in the industry in a manner that exceeds your expectations.

Wishing You Much Success,

Kelley Carter, CPIA

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The Choice Insurance Agency’s mission is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be financially by planning, achieving your plan and protecting your plan from unexpected events.  In the process, our goal is to deliver insurance services in a manner that exceeds your expectations.  See what The Choice Insurance Agency can do for you today. Give us a call at 757-416-5100 to speak with one of the licensed, professional members of our team or request a contact here. The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-416-5100 .