Its Critical To Maintain A Current Home Inventory
ever thinks a fire is going to burn down their home, and with any luck, it wont.
But we cant count on that. That is why we need to take certain precautions
to make sure we are as prepared as possible for those just in case
disasters. For example, make sure your family has an evacuation plan in place
just in case a fire ever starts in your home. Also, make sure you have properly
installed and working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in your house; again,
just in case. Whats another important thing you should do to make sure you
are fully prepared? Keep an up-to-date home inventory in a safe spot.
previously mentioned, most people do not think of preparing for fires in their
homes, or if they do, its to ensure safety measures are planned out. While
a well-thought-out safety plan is definitely the most critical thing to do, its
also very important to make sure you can get reimbursed for your personal possessions
from your homeowners or renters insurance company as quickly and easily as possible.
Think about it; can you accurately list from memory everything in your house?
Most people cannot, and that is why its important to have a list, and, if
possible, receipts and purchase information.
Basic Home Inventory
If you dont yet have a home inventory, thinking
of starting one can seem like a monumental task, especially if youve been
living in your home for a long time. While the best time to start your list is
when youre just starting out in your first home or apartment, or have just
moved to a new home, it can still be an achievable task in that home youve
lived in for several years. Just start one room at a time. Remember, a partial
inventory is better than no inventory at all.
room to room and note down every item you see in that room. Try to get serial
numbers for the big ticket items, and write down when, where, and for what price
you purchased each item. Make sure you remember to go into closets, cupboards,
and storage areas and write down the items in these as well.
some items you own have depreciated in replacement price (televisions, electronics,
furniture, etc.), some items may have increased in value (such as art, jewelry,
and collectibles). You may need to insure these items separately; check with your
insurance agent and find out if your current policy adequately covers these valuables.
Pictures Or A Video
It is a good idea to take pictures or make a video
of the items in your home. If you take pictures, write on the back the details
of the items in the pictures. If you take a video, narrate as you walk from room
to room (what items are in the room, when and where you bought them and for how
much). Photographing or videotaping your homes inventory can be especially
helpful if items are hard to describe on paper or for items you do not have receipts
Your List In A Safe Spot
Make sure you store your list, pictures, and/or
DVD or video tape in a safe spot. While its a good idea to have a copy at
home, make sure you have at least one additional copy outside your home. If you
only have one copy inside your home (or on your home computer) and your home burns
down, that list wont do you any good. Store extra copies at a friend or
family members house, in a safe deposit box, or at work. If your inventory
is on your computer, make a disk or CD and store it elsewhere, and/or send your
list to yourself at work or to your web-based email account so you can access
it in places other than your home.
Many of us are not great at keeping our receipts for purchases.
Now that youve read this article, make sure you keep receipts from now on,
especially for those big ticket items. These receipts will help you settle your
homeowners or renters insurance claim as quickly as possible. And remember, keep
receipts (or copies of them) in a place besides your home, along with a copy of
your home inventory.
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