How do I take a home inventory and why?
Would you be able to remember all the possessions youve accumulated over the years if they were destroyed by a fire? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.
Start by making a list of your possessions, describing each item and noting where you bought it and its make and model. Clip to your list any sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals you have. For clothing, count the items you own by category -- pants, coats, shoes, for example - making notes about those that are especially valuable. For major appliance and electronic equipment, record their serial numbers usually found on the back or bottom.
Dont be put off!
If you are just setting up a household, starting an inventory list can be relatively simple. If youve been living in the same house for many years, however, the task of creating a list can be daunting. Still, its better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all. Start with recent purchases and then try to remember what you can about older possessions.
Big ticket items
Valuable items like jewelry, art work and collectibles may have increased in value since you received them. Check with your agent to make sure that you have adequate insurance for these items. They may need to be insured separately.
Take a picture
Besides the list, you can take pictures of rooms and important individual items. On the back of the photos, note what is shown and where you bought it or the make. Dont forget things that are in closets or drawers.
Walk through your house or apartment videotaping and describing the contents. Or do the same thing using a tape recorder.
Use a personal computer
Use your PC to make your inventory list. Personal finance software packages often include a homeowners room-by-room inventory program.
Storing the list, photos and tapes
Regardless of how you do it (written list, floppy disk, photos, videotape or audio tape), keep your inventory along with receipts in your safe deposit box or at a friends or relatives home. That way youll be sure to have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. When you make a significant purchase, add the information
NOTE: The answers to coverage questions are primarily based on ISO forms generally used in Florida by most companies. However, please keep in mind that all companies forms are NOT necessarily the same. Some companies may provide broader coverage and some may be more restrictive. IN ALL CASES, THE CONSUMER MUST REFER TO HIS OR HER OWN POLICY FOR SPECIFIC COVERAGE INFORMATION.