SHARP HOME

Thursday, 17 November 2011

How To Make An Inventory of Your Possessions

Jewelry, like this necklace by Yvonne, should
be inventoried if you want to have its loss
reimbursed.  
 
For home insurance purposes, it is vitally important that you have a detailed inventory of your possessions. In the unlikely event that your home is engulfed in flames or inundated with flood water, you will want to know what to replace. Without a list, it will be almost impossible to remember all of the items you once owned. To help you with the process of creating an inventory, we've compiled a step-by-step guide that you can follow to ensure you don't lose out on a future claim.

1. Create a written list
Go through your home room-by-room, listing everything that you will want to replace. Include expensive items as well as less-valuable ones -- over your entire house, the value of all goods will quickly accumulate. When listing items, be sure to include the following:
  • Description - What is the item? If there is a serial number or ISBN number attached to the item, record that as well. 
  • Purchase price - How much did you pay for it when you bought it? 
  • Age of item - When did you buy it? This will help the insurance company establish how much the item has depreciated. 
  • Appraisal certificate - This only applies to items like jewelry, antiques or collectibles which appreciate in value over time. Without a proper appraisal certificate for certain items, you may not be reimbursed the full amount. Also, keep in mind that you will be reimbursed the amount attached to your most recent appraisal certificate. Therefore, be sure to keep your appraisals up to date so you get the most accurate amount for your item. 
  • Receipt - Very few people keep receipts for everything, and insurance providers understand that. For more expensive items, however, it will make the process much easier if you have a copy of the receipt. 
2. Corroborate your list digitally 
Using a video or still camera, go through your home and record the items from your written list. This will prove to your insurance provider that you actually owned the item you want to replace. Include members of your family in the video or still footage to prove that the footage is indeed of your home. If you're using video, talk into the mic and describe the items you are showing. Be sure to focus on the serial numbers of the more valuable items.

3. Secure the "evidence"
All the evidence in the world is useless if it's destroyed. Make sure you don't store your video, photo and written proof in your home. If your home is destroyed in a flood or fire, you won't have anything to show! Keep a few copies stored on DVDs or CDs at friends homes. Also keep a copy online. The web service Dropbox allows you to store up to 2GB for free online: use it to keep your lists and video/photo footage secure. 

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