If you ever have to make a property damage or loss claim on your home insurance policy, you don't just get a check for the policy limits. You have to be able to prove what you had and what it was worth. Taking a good home inventory is the way to do it.
Keep And Organize All Receipts
The best way to prove what you had and how much you paid for it is with the original receipts. You can keep them all in a box. But remember many store receipts are printed using ink, and paper that fades within a few months. The best thing to do is to scan your receipts into your computer. Use labels and folders that let you easily find individual items and remove things you no longer own.
Make A Detailed List
Make a detailed list of all of your belongings. Don't just write down toaster. Include the brand name, model name and number, and all of its features. For items with a serial number, include that as well.
Even if you have all of your receipts, you should still make this list. If the item you own is no longer made, and you have new replacement value coverage, it can help you get a replacement that has the same features — even if it costs more than the original.
Take Periodic Photos And Videos
Take photos and videos of everything you own — not just when you buy things, but also at least once every year. This helps to prove that you still own the item and that they are still in good condition. Take both wide shots and close-ups of any brand names, serial numbers, or other identifying marks.
Keep Multiple Copies
If you're making a home insurance claim, there's a good chance that at least part of your home has been destroyed. Your home inventory doesn't do you any good if you don't have it anymore. Always keep multiple copies and keep at least one copy away from home. If you put your inventory together electronically, that might include on your computer, on your backup disk, and in the cloud. If you prepared it on paper, you might place a copy in a bank safe deposit box or give it to a trusted family member for safekeeping.
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