A home inventory is a list of your personal possessions along with their estimated financial value. You can create a very basic home inventory by writing everything down and keeping sales receipts in a binder. Alternatively, if you are more tech-savvy, you could photograph items with a digital camera or smartphone or even use a home inventory app and catalog your belongings in that way.

But why should a person take inventory of their belongings?

Three Reasons to Take a Home inventory

  1. Knowing what you own, and the value of your possessions might surprise you. You cannot know how much and what type of insurance you need if you do not know the specifics of what you are insuring.  Being in possession of an accurate list of all your belongings will lead to a more productive consultation with your insurance agent when you are deciding about homeowners or renters’ insurance coverage.
  2. If – or when – you do need to make insurance claims, the process is drastically simplified. You will be in no doubt as to what is there, what is missing, what has been damaged and what needs replacing. When disaster strikes, you are even less likely to recall all the details as you may be suffering from a trauma reaction, making the process more challenging. Much of what you own might be stored in your garage, basement, or attic – out of sight. It is almost impossible to remember all the items that were there when the time comes. Having a thorough home inventory in these stressful times can be a blessing.
  3. After a catastrophe, you may be eligible for a tax break or disaster assistance. Substantiating and quantifying your financial losses is the only way you can determine your eligibility. A home inventory would go a long way in this process.

Why a Home Inventory Is Important

If a fire or a flood destroyed a room or section of your home, would you be able to remember each item that was in that section or room and how much it cost? Your homeowners or renters’ insurance covers your personal property. When it comes time to file a claim and be reimbursed for damaged or stolen personal property, insurers require documentation. That is when you will have to have a home inventory. The detailed list of all the items in your home will be a major stress reliever in these situations. 

Here’s What Your List Might Include:

Your home inventory checklist should include the following information for all of your belongings:

  • Photographs and/or videos
  • Brief description of the item
  • Estimated value of the item
  • Purchase date and receipts or other form of proof of ownership
  • Serial numbers
  • Remember that specialty items like artwork, antiques and jewelry may need additional documentation such as expert appraisal.

Your home inventory must be updated on a regular basis. We recommend that you do it annually so that you can add any new items that you have acquired or remove items that you have sold, given away or thrown out.

Most people insure their furniture, appliances, electronics, and valuables in the event of burglary, fire, or natural disaster. They often overlook the contents of the closet. You will be surprised what your wardrobe is worth when you add clothing to your inventory. The replacement cost is staggering.

Ask your insurance company about your policy’s limits of liability. For example, in many policies the sublimit for jewelry is often $1,500, which does not go very far. The process of itemizing your personal belongings will enable you to see if you have gaps in your coverage. You can then increase your coverage with a rider or endorsement.

A comprehensive home inventory will make your life much easier if you must file a homeowners insurance claim.

For more information on an effective home inventory and all other aspects of running a home from afar, contact Florida Estate Management Services today!