I recently had a client who was robbed. Someone broke into their home in the middle of the day and stole some jewelry and a gun. My agency was one of the first places that they called and we found out they weren’t sure of everything that was missing. They also hadn’t updated their policy to include extra coverage for jewelry even though they were aware it needed to be done.
If you were robbed, or there was a fire, would you be able to report to the insurance company what was lost? Most people could not with any degree of accuracy. I recommend you do some form of a home inventory. There are different ways this can be done ranging from very simple, to very detailed.
In this day and age where you always have a phone in your pocket, the very least you could do, is take a photo of every room in your house from every angle you can. Then you can take these photos and load them into any myriad of online sights like dropbox.com, shutterfly.com, picassa.com, etc. In the event of a total loss due to a fire, there is no way you would be able to remember what lamp was on what table or what picture was on that wall. With these photos, you would be able to help the claims adjuster see what was lost. This is the easiest way to do a home inventory and while it isn’t the best, it is a start. It’s the “something is better than nothing” strategy.
I always say, anything you want to make sure you get back properly, you should have it written down or notated in a file with a year, make, model, serial number and dimensions if necessary. As mentioned in an earlier post, certain things require additional coverage. Guns, jewelry and fine art all fall under this category. Anything over $2500 needs to have an up to date appraisal on file with the insurance company to be replaced properly.
I have booklets available for my clients that allow then to write down everything they own and it is broken down by room. The living room is on one page, the bedroom is on the next and so on. You go through each room and write down what is in each one. It is called “The Home Inventory”. My clients can fill that out and we can scan it into their account and put the booklet in their file. It is the most thorough way to inventory your home.