Planning ahead and creating a home inventory is the best way to avoid extra stress and financial hassles following a disaster.
As for the best way to complete a home inventory, it depends on your preferences. There are many options on how to complete a home inventory, but they all accomplish the same goal of recording your possessions should you ever need to file a claim with your insurance.
Here’s a closer look at a few of the options:
Make a list. Break your list into categories by room, appliance type, item value, or how you feel it best makes sense. Be sure to provide the make and model number or serial number to better assist in getting the item replaced appropriately.
Take pictures. Taking photos of all your items is a great way to show condition, record serial numbers and show placement in your home. Depending on how you would prefer to document the item, the photos can be printed and information written on the back or a photo file can be created on the computer with information typed in the notes. Be sure to save the file to a location accessible online in case your computer is destroyed. You can email the images to yourself or save them to Google Drive for safekeeping… and it is free!
Video each room. A video recording is probably the quickest, but may not be the most accurate method unless you know every model number of the items in your home. If disaster occurs and you have never completed a home inventory, a video recording would be a great way to help document the items in your home. Again, a video could also be uploaded to a private account on Google Drive.
Seek the right software. Software designed specifically for preparing a home inventory is available. It may also be the most accurate way to document and provide information quickly to your insurance company in the event of disaster. Remember to create a copy somewhere other than your computer in case the computer is damaged. Ask your insurance provider to recommend the software for your home inventory.
Download an App. A quick search on Google Play or the Apple App Store presents a variety of apps specifically to be used for a home inventory. Be sure to investigate whom you are providing a list of the items in your home and check out the reviews and creator of the app to avoid providing information to the wrong people. Always use apps with caution and only use those from reliable sources.
Other Helpful Tips:
- Set a monetary value for items. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to report the make, model and serial number to provide reasonable compensation for items. Family heirlooms and antiques that you feel are priceless will need to be appraised for a reasonable value to be established. Search online or ask antique dealers for a professional estimate on the value of an antique in your home.
- Make copies of legal documents. It is very important to make copies of and store legal documents in a secondary, secure location such as a safe deposit box. Birth certificates, passports, wills, financial records, insurance policies and receipts are very important and need to be kept in a safe place.
The more prepared you are in an emergency the faster you and your insurance provider can get your life back to normal again. If your home or business suffers water, fire, smoke or mold damage, the cleanup and restoration experts at Rainbow International can help with content restoration and pack-out.
For more information on how to prepare your home inventory, consider these sources: