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Home Inventory: How to Take One and Why Do You Need One

04102007HomeinventoryAJC100 copy 2Could you remember everything you own in the event of a burglary, fire, or other disaster? According to the terms of your homeowners, windstorm, and/or flood insurance policy, you must prove the condition of your home and your personal property prior to the loss in order to recover anything when filing your claim. In most cases this can only be proven by photographs and electronic documentation of your home and it's contents via a professional home inventory. Such a service can also help substantiate losses for income tax purposes.

Every disaster recovery organization, including the Red Cross and United Way recommend conducting a home inventory to document your home and belongings prior to a natural disaster.

In addition to helping you prepare for a natural disaster or burglary a professional home inventory will also give you an estimated value of your own personal property. This can be a great tool in estate/financial planning. The total estimated value of your personal property plays a part of your total net worth.

Insurance Companies & Law enforcement have been telling us for a long time to catalog our personal property. Have you already inventoried your home? As a home owner you have probably considered taking a home inventory on various occasions but have never found the time, were unsure of how to proceed, or didn't understand the value it could provide to you and your family. Below are some suggestions on how to complete a home inventory:

  1. Take photographs or video of everything. Having a written record is not enough. Take pictures of all your property.
  2. Things to inventory include: Appliances, Furniture, Jewelry, Clothing, Artwork, Decorations, Silverware & Cutlery, Books/CDs/DVDs/Tapes, Electronics, Sports Equipment, Toys, etc.
  3. Keep a copy of your inventory somewhere secure outside of your home, such as a safe deposit box.

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