Whatta ya have, whatta ya have?? And no, I’m not referring to your order at The Varsity. I mean what do you have in your HOME? This may seem like a silly question, but having a home inventory list is a serious thing.
Why am I asking this? Here’s the story… I woke up recently to panicked calls and texts from friends and family who heard on the news that a home in my neighborhood had tragically burned down overnight. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the family lost most all of their belongings. As my husband and I stood in front of the terrible scene we couldn’t help but put ourselves in their shoes… which got me thinking… if that had been us, what all would we have lost?
While most everyone has hazard (AKA homeowners) insurance, if something were to happen to your home and/or belongings, your insurance company needs to know what was in your house to make and file a proper claim. Providing a list of items would be an almost impossible task – even the most organized and thoughtful person would have a hard time remembering everything of value in their home! In this instance it was fire, but any natural disaster (tornado, flood) or even burglary could apply. In a recent survey from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, less than half of Americans have a home inventory list of their possessions. In another recent survey of my friends and family that number is a big, fat ZERO – ok, confession, I’m on the list too.
Creating and maintaining a home inventory list is simple, but it’s not always easy. Here are some tips on how to get started:
- Take photos and videos of each room in your home. Don’t forget closets, the attic, basement and your garage. Do this for your exterior as well (patio furniture can be expensive)!
- Take special notes and photos/videos of valuable possessions. You’ll need to note the brand, serial numbers, price paid, etc. This may seem a bit daunting, but it’s the most important step as these are the things that hold the most value. Items to consider are:
- All electronics
- Kitchen and home appliances
- Expensive jewelry
- Tools, mowers, etc
- Keep a back up! Don’t let these photos/videos live on your iPhone for the next 5 years – save everything to a USB or external hard drive that’s kept in a separate location (safe deposit box) or a fireproof safe.
- Update, update, update! Remember, you’re buying new things and updating your home constantly, so keep everything current. Perhaps make it a habit to do this each year at Christmas when you have just accumulated lots of new things ☺
Of course, no one likes to think that they would ever be in a position to USE their home inventory list, and I hope you never are, but taking these simple steps to ensure peace of mind and preparedness is something you won’t regret!