Half of all Americans do not have a home inventory of their prized possessions, according to a survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Of those who do have an inventory, 32 percent lacked pictures, 58 percent had no receipts, and 44 percent had not stored the inventory in a safe place outside the home. These tips for making an inventory will ease your claims process following a loss.
The NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) has created a free app (iPhone and Android) to help you inventory your house, and the Department of Consumer & Business Services has written a guide to help you do so properly. Below is a quick overview of the guide, be sure to follow the links to see the full PDF and links to the iPhone and Android apps!
In addition to commonplace items (toys, CDs, and clothing), don’t forget items you may only use occasionally – holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, and high-ticket items kept outside your home, such as landscape and swing sets.
Attach copies of original sales receipts and/or appraisal documents. Note the model and serial numbers.
Group your possessions into logical categories, such as by hobby or by room.
Photograph or videotape each item and document a brief description, including age, purchase price, and estimated current value.
Open drawers and closets to document what’s inside.
Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe place you can get to easily. This might be a file online, a fireproof box, or a safe deposit box. You may want to share a copy with your insurance provider to make necessary updates to your coverage.
Update your inventory annually and any time you make a significant purchase.
Start by downloading the free myHOME Scr.APP.book app for iPhone or Android users.