When Spring Cleaning This Year, Take Inventory
Considering the year that was 2020, you might be looking for ways to better position and protect yourself, your family and your belongings against unexpected moments that come your way. As a homeowner or renter, consider adding a regular insurance review with your representative to ensure you have the right coverages. Because repair and construction costs continue to rise, it’s important to make sure you are adequately protected. Ask your representative specifically about what costs would be covered by your policy should your home be destroyed.
Once you understand your coverages, you’ll need to ensure you document your belongings. Spring serves as a great time not only to clean and declutter, but also to take inventory.
Thinking back to the last time you moved, you likely remember the packing stage. How often did you find yourself saying, “Wow, I forgot we had that!”
Now think about this: If something were to happen to your home and the belongings inside of it destroyed, could you list every item you own? If you don’t think you could do it on a regular day, you probably won’t be able to do it under extreme stress after a natural disaster or fire strikes.
That’s why having a home inventory on file (or even saved in your email) is so important.
Recording Made Easy
Some avoid taking an inventory because they think it’s required to list out every item you own, accompanied by serial numbers, purchase costs and how much the item is worth today, with pictures of each item. However, a home inventory can be much easier – especially with the help of your cellphone. Creating a video account of your belongings is more than acceptable, and you’ll be relieved to have taken the proactive step if you ever have to file a claim.
So, what should be included in your home inventory video? Follow these simple steps:
- Narrate it. You might feel silly talking while you record a video, but it’s so helpful. While you’re recording, be sure to describe what is being recorded. Maybe it’s something that’s been in your family for four generations – say that in the video! The more detailed you are during your video shoot, the better.
- Record everything. This might seem obvious, but you need to capture everything you own. Sounds overwhelming, but if you take it a room at a time, you’ll be done in no time. Feel free to break up the videos and create one for each room if that’s easier. Don’t forget places like your garage, attic or shed, if you have them.
- Document (some) serial numbers. For bigger-ticket items, like electronics, point the camera at the make, model and serial numbers and narrate that information over the video as you record. This will help make sure you’re reimbursed for the same product (or for one of equal value).
Where do I save my home inventory video(s)?
Save the video in your email (and in someone else’s email) and/or in the cloud so you can access it if your computer is destroyed. It’s also a good idea to send it to your insurance agent to save on file.
If you don’t want to create a video, an inventory spreadsheet is just fine. Lists and photos are still a completely acceptable way to inventory your belongings. However, it’s worth taking a look at your inventory to make sure you don’t need to create a new one, or at least add to the one you already have.