What is a household inventory and why do I need one?
A household inventory could prove invaluable if you lost some or all of your household belongings in a fire, burglary or natural disaster. A household inventory is a list of all the personal belongings in your home including when and where you bought each item, their original cost and any identifying information, such as model or serial numbers. For an investment of just a few hours, you can survey your belongings and be prepared in the event of a loss.
How do I take my own inventory?
First, list all of your major belongings and furnishings. There are two ways to take or create your inventory. The first is room by room. If you choose this method, you would list all the contents (i.e., couch, love seat, T.V., stereo, etc.) each with the make, model number, description, original price and any comments.
The second method is categorically (i.e., Entertainment: T.V.—living room, T.V.—bedroom, DVDs A, B, C and D—living room; DVDs E, F, G and H—bedroom, etc.) again each with the make, model number, description, original price and comments. Attach any applicable receipts and appraisals. The second step is to back up your inventory list with photographs or video. Take photos or video every room, with closet and cabinet doors open. Note the date, contents shown and location.
Third, store the inventory and photographs/video in a safe place away from your home, such as in a safe-deposit box in a bank. Keeping a copy of the list or tape at home is fine, but it is wise to keep the original inventory and receipts in a secure location in case a fire or natural disaster destroys your home. Of course, you should likewise protect certain valuables and hard-to-replace documents such as deeds, bonds, stocks and insurance policies by storing them in a safe-deposit box.
These are general recommendations. For the best advice on your personal insurance needs, contact our agency.