Off the top of your head, can you list everything you own at home? Not even half? Didn’t think so. Most people probably own more stuff than they realize or care to admit, but it’s always easier to name antique furniture, your PC, the TV, two fancy cars, and a piano. After all, they almost cost you half your life’s savings and you’re probably not done paying for some of them yet anyway. What about the clothes in your large closet? The books in that big enviable shelf in the living room? What about the tea set handed to you by your great-grandmother? The truth is, everything you own, from the one you consider to be the most expensive to your last piece of jewelry, has value and they’re all regarded as part of your personal property for home insurance purposes. You may also like property inventory templates.
Back in 2011, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were nearly 364,500 residential fires they recorded and had to put out. That means there are about a thousand fire accidents in one day in the United States, making up more than $6.65 billion in monetary loss. Think about it. Billions of dollars lost each year and that’s not counting property loss caused by natural disasters. It also means millions of hours dedicated to the collection of information and trying to provide proof of what homeowners lost and figure out which ones are covered by their insurance policy formats. A fraction of those hours could have been saved for more efforts on getting other areas of people’s jobs done if homeowners are vigilant enough to come up with a list of everything they own because you never really know when you might need it.
Accidents happen. Nature strikes when we least expect it to, or some other disaster in one form or another that causes property loss. Having no record whatsoever of all the things you’ve bought through the years will render you incapable of getting the life you built, back together. Filing a claim, however, will be easier when you have a list of your possessions. Creating a home inventory would establish a good and organized way for also storing your most important documents like receipts, warrants, manuals, store photos if you are a small business owner and it further establishes paperwork for your assets, making information more accessible in your most difficult times as a businessman or a property owner. There may come a day when your insurance agent will be ready to assist you in filing the homeowner’s claim, as part of her responsibility. He/She would naturally ask if you have managed to develop a home inventory because a good agent makes sure you get as much back to replace what stuff you have accidentally lost, as indicated on your insurance policy. It’s time to take advantage of it.
For the most part, your personal property, your house, and everything else in it is worth something, and home insurance would be the most obvious reason to get a home inventory checklist together. Then again, it would also be great to monitor what you own whenever some sort of accident happen, big or small. When your dishwasher breaks, when a fire destroys part of your house or when a burglar has stolen some of your supplies in the store, wouldn’t the pressure and tension be easier to deal with if you have an inventory that backs all these up? Your home and your business is an investment, an asset, and it’s a very big one, with a value bordering on monetary and sentimental, therefore, you are more at peace when all of them are properly monitored. It requires time and effort to put a proper worksheet of your sample home inventory together. One day wouldn’t do it. The best way to get one sorted is to go by the list one period at a time, updating it when necessary.
Having an inventory of what constitutes as your personal or commercial property is something that can’t be underestimated. For others, it is a project that is just as important as a will. Unfortunately, since it is also naturally tedious for it needs to be detailed, projects like this do not get accomplished well. The fact that most people don’t really expect anything serious ever happening to what they have invested in, isn’t helping either so that it’s rarely a priority. It becomes part of a plan, but often put and set aside on the back burner, forgotten, until something happens. But, if you really want to be well-prepared then it’s time to start making your own sample inventory:
A video might help to have a better, quicker recording of things inside and outside your house. Check every nook and cranny in your home and get close to the most expensive gadgets, electronics, appliances and try capturing as much detail as your camera can allow. If not a video, photos can also help a lot, so take as many pictures of the very room as you can and get all individual items labeled properly. Remember to include stuff that isn’t easily visible, or the ones in storage rooms, the attic, the garage. It would probably take time to get a proper compilation of your possessions but until then, you have the video to make up for a detailed list. The more information your inventory have, the better your chances will be at making a claim for everything you want accounted for. Try not to leave anything of value out, and document them all. You may also see inventory spreadsheet templates.
After getting your items sorted and when you have already managed to compile even just a partial list, you need to decide where and how you will be able to put it for safekeeping. Obviously, you will need to do this the digital way and pick an application or a tool that can let you store the information in detail as well as let you update it whenever you need to. Putting together a digital home inventory and having an off-site storage helps in ensuring that it won’t be lost, stolen, corrupted or damaged should any major disaster happen at home. You also have the option to create a photo or video inventory and upload it to any cloud-based service. But nothing probably works better, easier and safer than having it done through a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, as most people would. Finally, since you are making a digital copy, make sure to always, always back it up.
Every time you make a significant purchase, as you surely would, from time to time, add the information of your most recent, important purchases while you can still remember all the details. Doing this also allows you to check our list again and delete items that you have disposed of. You may also like sample content inventory.
Usually, most people would only count the contents of their home as their personal property. While that’s very important, keeping a record of your business property also applies in some cases, for when it’s time to file a claim. Make sure they are also documented. You may also see excel inventory templates.
Your insurance company sets a limit on the policy you signed for how much of what you own it will cover. Check your belongings and see if some of them count for value, then you can decide whether or not it’s worth increasing our coverage so that your property is protected better in the event of property damage or loss. Don’t forget that there would be items that are either considered under a lower standard insurance policy or not covered by the policy at all.
After a fire, property damage due to natural disaster and loss of valuable items because of burglary, watching what was left of all the things you have accumulated through the years with your hard-earned money would be very difficult and crushing. On top of that, it’s also not easy to remember all the details of what you have lost, and in this, having an updated, well-organized inventory of what you have may not put things exactly as where they have been before but it would surely help you with any potential claims so that it’s easier to start again and recover faster. It may just be an inventory, a digital file of your possessions but it’s surely better than having next-to-nothing to stand up on, when worse comes to worst, for a homeowner. You may also like sample inventory worksheet templates.