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When to Create a Home Inventory

Creating a home inventory may seem like a bother, but the day will come when you will be glad you did. If you ever need to file a claim your inventory will make it easy and efficient. Plus, it doesn’t have to be such a bother. Yes, you can write everything down on a list, keep your receipts in a folder and update that regularly. Or you can use technology and tour your house with a smartphone or digital camera, making comments and recording your items and receipts and related information as needed— and update that regularly.

Be sure to include some of the following details about items in your inventory:

  • A Description
  • Receipts (much of the information in the next two items may even be on the receipt)
  • Make, model, serial number
  • Date and place of purchase
  • Appraisals (for antiques, jewelry and similar high-valued items) and estimated replacement cost.

When to Create your Inventory. Now! 

Here are three very practical reasons not to put off this important task any longer if you haven’t done it already. A home inventory will:

  1. Help you purchase the right amount and type of insurance.
    Having an accurate list of all your possessions will help you and your agent make decisions about purchasing the right homeowners or renters' insurance coverage. After all, if you don’t know what you have, how can you insure it adequately?
     
  2. Make filing a claim as simple as possible.
    Most people cannot remember what they had for breakfast much less recall the contents of their attic, kitchen cabinets or downstairs closet after a fire, storm or other catastrophes. Disasters are scary and stressful, which can make trying to list damaged property for a claims form even more challenging. Having your belongings already documented in your home inventory can be a huge relief at times like these.
     
  3. Substantiate financial losses for tax purposes or when applying for financial assistance.
    Following a catastrophe, the only way to determine whether you qualify for a tax break or disaster assistance is to substantiate your financial losses. A well-organized home inventory can be an extremely useful tool in this process. 
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