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Why You Need To Keep A Current Home Inventory

By Compuquotes Team on June 5th, 2008

Homeowners Insurance

It's never a pleasant thought to think of a fire in your home and claiming everything you own, however, it does and can happen to anyone at any time, and often without any warning. Homeowners already take some precautions against losses by having homeowner's insurance policies to cover any losses that may occur; however it is important to go one step further by keeping a current home inventory in a safe place, such as a fireproof box or safety deposit box. You can even email or send a copy to your insurance agent to keep with your file.

Keeping an up to date home inventory will ensure that your homeowners insurance will cover all of your belongings should you experience a loss. No one can completely list everything they own off the top of their heads - however a home inventory can. It's best to also have a copy of receipts and purchase information of your items as well.

Now, don't panic if you don't have a home inventory. It is a daunting task - making a list of everything you own in your home can be a considerable undertaking. However, it's best to just get started, even with a partial list, something is better than nothing. Of course, it's best to begin your home inventory when you first move out on your own or into your home (as you unpack your belongings, you can list them), but nothing is ever perfect.

To get started with a home inventory, grab a few sheets of paper and envelops (one for each room in your home). Write the name of the room at the top of the page and each envelope (i.e. living room, dining room, master bed room, kid's bedroom 1, etc.) and write down everything you see in the room on the paper. For the big items (such as televisions, computers, other expensive items), write down the serial number beside it in the list. If you have the receipt, warranty, bill of lading or anything that pertains to that item, put it in the appropriate matching envelope. Make sure you open drawers, closets, cupboards and storage spaces and list the items that are in each of those as well. You don't have to do every room in one day - take your time and go room by room.

For special items such as jewelry, art, heirlooms and collectibles (items that appreciate in value), make a special list and envelope. Some of these items may require you to purchase additional insurance to have them covered - be sure to ask your insurance agent about any of these types of appreciating value items that you own.

You will also want to take photos or video of your belongings. For photos, when you've got them printed, write the information of the item on the back of the photograph and the room that it was in. You can put these photos into the room envelopes you have as well. It's best to take photos of items you own with someone from your family in the frame as well (to help prove that you owned these items), as well as the receipt and information. Keeping all this information together will help if there is a loss or theft in your home.

Once you have a full inventory of your home's contents, be sure to share it with your insurance agent to ensure that your policy is adequate coverage for your possessions. You will want to store these pages, receipts and photos in a safe place, such as a fireproof box, safety deposit box or at a friend's house. Send a copy of the room lists to your insurance agent and ask to have them kept with your file.

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