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Do I need an inventory of personal property?



Why do I need a personal property inventory?

Your home insurance gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your personal belongings are protected in the event of a loss. However, an insurance company can only pay you for the things you can document after a loss has occurred.

This is where good inventory comes in. A home inventory can:

  • Speed ​​up your insurance claim because you will not spend time trying to make an inventory after the damage has already occurred.
  • Maximize your claim payment because you will not forget any of your belongings.

It can make your life a lot easier when you start exchanging your personal property. You should make an inventory of your personal property so that you have a record of what you own. After a loss, this inventory can help you determine which items were destroyed or stolen.

What should be included in a housing inventory?

A good home inventory should have the following information:

  • A description of the item, including make and model (if applicable)
  • Estimated value of the item
  • Purchase date
  • Receipts
  • Serial number

You will obviously not have receipts for everything you own. But for general categories, such as clothing, you can enter a bill. For example, “Six pairs of jeans, 1

0 shirts, two pairs of sneakers.” But be sure to note down some valuable items, such as an expensive suit or dress. It is a good idea to update your inventory at regular intervals when buying new items for your home.

And do not forget objects outside the facility, such as belongings you store in a storage facility. Your home insurance can cover items outside facilities from problems such as theft and fire.

How do I make a housing inventory?

A home inventory can be as simple as a written list, photos or video. Or use a home inventory app to help you compile your list. When inventorying your personal belongings, do not forget all your drawers, closets, attic, basement and if you are brave, take a look under your bed.

No matter how you decide to create a home inventory, the key is to be as detailed as possible and to store a copy of the inventory outside your home. For example, you can store an electronic copy in a cloud service or keep a hard copy of a relative.

You also want to update your home inventory regularly. It is a good idea to update it every year. This way, you can add all the items you have acquired or delete items that you have lost.

Make a list

A list can be as simple as a pen and paper or a spreadsheet on your laptop. Here are some organization tips to get you started:

  • Arrange your list by room. Select a room and record all content. For example, start in your living room and list everything, such as your TV, coffee table, recliner and sofa. Do not forget the little things, such as books, knick-knacks and decorations on your shelves.
  • Organize your list by groups of items. Or group objects such as antiques, works of art, clothes, collections, jewelry, kitchenware, furniture, musical instruments and various objects.

Take photos and / or video

If you have a smartphone, you have the tools you need to record your personal belongings with photos or video. Take a walk through your house and catch each object. If possible, get a clear picture of the serial number. If you are recording a video, it is a good idea to describe the product, its estimated value and date of purchase.

Using a Home Inventory App

You can use an app for your smartphone or tablet to list objects, store photos and video. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recently launched a home inventory app (available in the App Store or via Google Play) that has the ability to:

  • Group belongings by category
  • Scan barcodes for accuracy
  • Upload and export photos
  • Find advice on disaster preparedness
  • Review information about filing insurance claims

Here are more apps for home inventory.

Some apps may not be available on all operating systems and may require in-app purchases.

Re-evaluate your insurance for valuable items

While documenting all your things, it is a good opportunity to take a look at valuable items such as jewelry, musical instruments, works of art and electronics. This is because homeowners’ insurance can set a special lower limit for certain types of items.

For example, a standard home insurance policy sets a limit of $ 1,500 for theft protection for jewelry and watches. If you have valuable items, you can “schedule” them. Scheduled personal property is a supplement to homeowner, apartment or tenant insurance to insure valuables for their full value.

Quick tips to insure your belongings

  • A homeowners insurance policy will have specific coverage limits for “content”, meaning your belongings. Check your policy declaration page to see what your content limit is. Does it seem to be enough to replace all your furniture, carpets, curtains, clothes, appliances and other belongings?
  • Make sure your insurance covers the replacement value of your assets, not the actual cash value. A payment with actual cash value would only pay the depreciated value of your items, not new compensation.
  • If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes or floods, you may want to consider earthquake insurance or flood insurance. Without them, your home and belongings will not be covered in these catastrophic situations.

How do I know I have enough insurance?

A household inventory can also help you determine how much insurance you need to cover your belongings. Your coverage should always be equal to what it would cost to replace your home at today’s prices, minus a reasonable amount for depreciation. You should also have valuable items such as jewelry, furs and art objects evaluated regularly to ensure that you have enough insurance to cover their value.


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