Home sweet home. Your house is where you keep your most valuable possessions. If your home was broken into or if it was hit by fire or natural disaster, would you be able to remember everything under your roof? A home inventory will help you through the claims process so that you are back to normal as soon as possible.
A home inventory also has the power to save you money. How? With it, you will know how much homeowners insurance to buy, and (in the event of a claim) will help you speed up the claims process and verify losses for your income tax return.
What is a home inventory?
A home inventory is just what it sounds like: It’s a detailed list of everything in your home. Everything you purchase for your home goes on the list.
How do you begin?
When doing an inventory of your home, go room by room and make a detailed list of everything you have purchased. In the inventory, include a description of the item, a serial number (if applicable), approximate date of purchase and estimated value. Often, people find it helpful to save receipts for larger ticket items. Consider taking photos of the items you jot down. Photos can be saved on your phone or printed and kept with the inventory.
For items like clothing and shoes, it may be too tedious to itemize every stitch of clothing you own. Many people find it helpful to place an approximate value on a complete wardrobe, which includes shoes and accessories. In the instance of jewelry, have an appraisal done on your most expensive, sentimental or family pieces, and include the appraisal (along with photos) with your home inventory.
Don’t skip typical storage places like the basement, closets and garage. Chances are, you store expensive tools and gear that you use seasonally in these spots. If detached, your garage will be listed as a second structure, and may require a separate inventory form — check with your local Farm Bureau agent on the specifics for your home.
When Inventory is Complete
When you complete your inventory, save a copy in a secure location, like a fire proof safe or a safety deposit box. Also save a digital copy and email your agent. You will have a head start if you ever need to file a claim.
It’s important to keep your home inventory up-to-date. After the initial home inventory is completed, plan to do a yearly review when you can add and/or remove any items that may have changed. Or, when you make a larger purchase or undertake a major renovation project, make a note to update your home inventory to keep it current.
A home inventory can save you time and money if you ever need to file a claim. If you have questions on the best way to do a home inventory, or what you should include to make a claim easier to file, contact your Farm Bureau agent. They will be able to answer your questions and help ensure you have the right amount of homeowners insurance in place.