When fire, burglary, or other disaster strikes your home, you want to begin the recovery process as soon as possible. However, before you can file your homeowner’s insurance claim, you must fully document all of your damaged belongings.
If you are like most people, you haven’t prepared a current inventory list, or videotaped your belongings. So when it comes time to file a claim, you can only rely on memory. That’s why it is best to be prepared, and create an inventory list ahead of time – before a loss occurs!
What to include in your inventory list:
- Where and when the item was purchased
- Cost of the item
- Brand and model
Here are 4 tips to help you inventory your belongings:
- Track down any saved and electronic receipts, canceled checks, bank and credit card statements, owner’s manuals and product warranty cards
- Take photographs and videos of your belongings, and store them digitally so you can access from anywhere. The more detailed inventory you have, the better.
- Update regularly! When you make a significant purchase, add the information to the inventory while the details are fresh in your mind. This is also a good time to delete items that you have replaced or no longer own.
- Understand what is covered in your existing policy. Some items such as jewelry, art and collectibles need to be insured separately from your homeowner’s insurance plan. Make sure you check with your agent so you know that you are properly covering your valuables.
Keep in mind: When you have a loss, relying on memory alone to recreate a comprehensive list of belongings greatly lowers the chance that you will collect your full insurance benefits. Here is a checklist that you can use to get started to make sure you are fully prepared in the unfortunate event of a loss.