Getting organized is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions and, for those getting a late start, spring cleaning is a great opportunity for redemption. For a first step that pays dividends down the road, Allstate recommends creating a home inventory. It’s one of the most important things consumers can do to get organized and, in addition to having proper homeowners’ or renters’ insurance coverage, protect their possessions.
In the blink of an eye, your home and all of your belongings could disappear. Do you know what you have? Could you list and describe your possessions so they could be replaced?
“Disaster or theft can strike at any time,” said Allstate Agent Andrew McCabe. “An accurate and up-to-date home inventory can help make the recovery process easier on you and your family.”
• Categorize your list. Organize your catalog of personal property by room, category or in item lists to make your list more manageable and help make sure your list includes all your important items.
• Include photos and videos of your items. Whenever possible, make sure your home inventory list includes photographs or video of your belongings. Take periodic videos of each room in your house, and focus on individual items in each room. Take additional photos or video of smaller items like jewelry, silver and related valuables or keepsakes.
• Attribute notes, cost and quantity to each item. It’s helpful if you can include make, model, serial numbers, receipts, cost, and date of purchase for all items in your home inventory.
• Secure your information. Whether you store your information on paper or electronically, make sure your information is locked away with a key or password. You wouldn’t want a complete list of valuable items in your home to fall into the wrong hands.
• Store your home inventory in a smart place. Wherever you store your home inventory list, it’s best that the location is far enough away from your home that it won’t be lost in the same event that may destroy your house, yet close enough that it’s easily accessible in a time of need. Consider storing in a safe deposit box, your workplace or with a friend or relative. Even consider online cloud-based storage to help access your inventory anywhere.
• Include your insurance and agency information for quick reference. Particularly after experiencing a loss, you may have a hard time finding the information you need about your insurance policy and to contact your agency as quickly as you’d like. Including this with your list will help to make sure you have everything you need, when you need it.
• Update after a significant purchase or gift. While you should be updating your home inventory periodically, make a special effort to do so after any major purchase, holidays or birthdays.
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