9 Steps to a Home Inventory
Your home is more than a roof over your head. It’s where your dreams grow, your family thrives and memories are made. But the possessions you keep inside are important, too. From your electronics to your family heirlooms, you’ll want to make sure your things are protected, and that’s where a home inventory comes in handy! Should the unexpected happen, your detailed inventory will help you recover quickly and easily.
Here’s how to get started.
What is a Home Inventory?
First things first, what is a home inventory? To put it simply, it’s a list of all the items, especially valuables, in and around your home. But the more detail, the better. The best home inventories include photos, descriptions and dollar values of each of your belongings.
From an insurance standpoint, a home inventory is a great way to determine that you have the right amount of coverage. Not to mention it’s the best way to be prepared for potential losses — it’ll help you provide a detailed list to your agent of the items lost in the event your home is damaged or destroyed, allowing you to get the most out of your coverage.
Ready to begin? Take these nine steps.
Create folders. Start by creating folders (physical or digital) for each room in your house. Don’t forget hallways, closets, utility rooms and storage sheds or garages.
List your items. Begin a list for each of the folders and write out every item in each room including clothing, accessories, electronics, appliances, furniture, decorations, linens, artwork, hobby items, collectibles and heirlooms — anything and everything should have a place in your inventory.
Add notes. As you create your comprehensive list, be sure to add detailed notes that describe each item fully. Include the make, model, serial number and dollar value when possible. And, if you can, list the store and year purchased.
Include appropriate documents. If you’ve hung onto receipts, especially for bigger purchases like furniture or appliances, or have appraisals for jewelry, art or other collectables, tuck them into the appropriate folders. If you’re choosing to keep a digital home inventory, simply scan and save the paper copies.
Take photos. Now, go through your home and take photos of each room and item to round out your detailed home inventory — a picture is worth a thousand words! So this is an important step.
Record a video. To take it to the next level, consider taking a video tour of your home. This is a great way to further prove the value of your home’s contents.
Attach a home appraisal. Including a home appraisal is the best way to show the value of your home should the unexpected occur.
Create a backup copy. Finally, be sure you save your home inventory in a safe place and host a backup copy somewhere outside of your home — whether that be in an online storage account or your safety deposit box. This way you’ll have access to it no matter what happens.
Keep it current. Be sure to update your list regularly and include significant new purchases while the details are fresh in your mind. And. should you get rid of something, simply pull up your inventory and delete or cross out that item. Regular maintenance is key to ensuring your home inventory is working for you!
Once you’ve finished your inventory, be sure to share it with your American Family Insurance agent. They’ll take a look and help you determine if you’ve got the right amount of coverage on your homeowners insurance policy.
Congratulations on taking a great step towards proactively protecting what matters most! We’ll be here with you every step of the way.